Look not to Derry but Lower Ormeau, Clifton Park and Garvaghy for model solutions

The resurfacing of the parades issue has caught many by surprise, nationalist and unionist. The sense of stability that had slowly crept into our summers has, all of a sudden, given way to a range of attitudes from exasperation to anger as many nationalists in particular ponder a return to the dark Drumcree era.
That unionist politicians would seek to use the ‘Derry’ solution as an example of how things should be is unsurprising; there, in an act without reciprocation by towns with a reverse demographic profile, nationalists have largely supported the expression of the unionist marching tradition in the overwhelmingly majority nationalist city.
But in terms of providing long-term resolutions, it is not Derry but other areas we should be looking to for model solutions to the marching dispute. It was not long ago that Loyal Order members marching through the nationalist Lower Ormeau were compared to cannibals after using the parading occasion to gloat over the killing of five catholics in a bookmakers they processed past in a less than dignified manner.
That period is now, thankfully, behind us as a rerouted parade veering around the district has now become part of the much vaunted orange tradition. Similarly, the age of the RUC forcing Orangemen through the Clifton Park Avenue interface and along the Cliftonville and Antrim Roads has long past into memory- even though Orange feet were forced through that area less than fifteen years ago.
As a consequence, two flashpoint communities are spared an annual event which polarised communities and precipitated serious violence.

There is, of course, another way to resolve the parading discussion, as I’ve articulated here. If political unionism is serious about discussing how we create a culture of mutual tolerance towards hosting the expression of the ‘other’ communities culture, then that is a discussion which will involve unionism taking many deep, deep breaths if events in Coleraine and Banbridge last year are anything to go by- not to mention Portadown, where loyalists protesting outside a catholic-owned premises in the town centre gave a depressing but appropriate indication of where lies the notion of unionist tolerance towards any potential for outwardly political expressions of the minority nationalist tradition in unionist areas of that troubled town.
In many ways, unionism has scored a success to date in having the parameters for discussion with regard to parading revolving around a ‘talking’ and ‘walking’ culture which asks no questions of unionist communities. Nationalist political leaders would now appear to have the opportunity to broaden the discussion to ask those very questions and potentially transform the discussion around parading in a manner that could unlock the door to finally dealing with the vexed question of parading in a decisive way which, ultimately, could bring us as a society closer to dealing with such disputes the ‘Derry’ way, presuming a culture of reciprocity was by then the order of the day.

  • socaire

    Stand by for the sell out of the Irish language and the Garvaghy Road.

  • percy

    chris its worth linking to
    1998

    * 144 houses attacked (the vast majority owned by Catholics and/or nationalists)
    * 165 other buildings attacked (the vast majority owned by Catholics and/or nationalists)
    * 178 vehicles hijacked
    * 467 vehicles damaged
    * 615 attacks on members of the security forces (including 24 shooting incidents)
    * 76 police offices injured
    * 632 petrol bombs thrown
    * 837 plastic bullets fired by security forces
    * 284 people arrested

  • tacapall

    I’d say the DUP will concede to P+J and the Irish Language Act in return for scrapping the parades commission, its the only deal fair enough for Nationalism, equality of culture.

  • “Look not to Derry but Lower Ormeau, Clifton Park and Garvaghy for model solutions”

    Oh yes, pandering to loyalist and republican paramilitaries is definitely a ‘model solution’ – if you’re a paramilitary apologist. The down side, of course, is that the control of local communities can then pass over to ‘dissidents’ ie those who are merely following the example already given, an example that London and Dublin acquiesced to.

  • iluvni

    If all Sinn Fein demands on policing and justice were to be agreed upon, with the deal breaker being the OO being allowed to complete their parade on Garvaghy for a final time, would that still be a parade too far for Sinn Fein…what say you, Mr Donnelly?
    Would you agree that?

  • Chris Donnelly

    Personally, if you were talking about ‘one final period’on Garvaghy Road, then I’d go for it.

    But it’s not for me to say, is it?

  • Chris Donnelly

    ….but throw in the ILA too, iluvni……

  • tacapall

    Oh yes, pandering to loyalist and republican paramilitaries is definitely a ‘model solution’ – if you’re a paramilitary apologist. The down side, of course, is that the control of local communities can then pass over to ‘dissidents’ ie those who are merely following the example already given, an example that London and Dublin acquiesced to.
    Posted by Nevin on Jan 26, 2010 @ 06:59 PM

    So what exactly are you saying Nevin, let people march where their not wanted or who cares about the residents its the queens highway.

  • Mark McGregor

    Indeed it isn’t Chris and lets hope SF don’t think such decisions are in their gift. Worryingly I think they’ll be all too welling to sell that a few other communities short to get an Alliance Minister running a British Policer Force here.

  • Turgon

    tacapall,
    An interesting take. Though Adams specifically ruled out an end to the Parades Commission.

    If that were the deal I think the DUP would suffer quite badly for it. Clearly some in the OO will be satisfied. However, I suspect many in the OO will not think that the end of the Parades Commission is a big enough prize for P&J devolution let alone that and the ILA.

    In addition non OO unionists will probably be even less impressed. By no means all hard line unionists are involved in marching etc. Also more liberal unionists even if they support the concept of P&J devolution may feel that after the DUP making such an issue of it they will have been defeated if they concede.

    An end to the Parades Commission in exchange for an ILA alone might be acceptable to some unionists but I think that is as much as the DUP could give and not come away looking as if they lost.

  • iluvni

    No, I’m only asking. I’m not for that deal at all anyhow. I wouldnt let Sinn fein anywhere near policing and justice in a million years under any circumstance!

  • JohnM

    I wouldn’t be against a farewell march through any contentious areas on the condition that it was the last and there was no baiting of the locals.

  • ben_w

    The thing where they celebrate the cold-blooded murder of innocent people must be part of the Great Christian Tradition of this Noble Peaceful Christian group of Good Christians marching the Queen’s Highway.

  • USA

    Personally I would not be negotiating anything about Orange Parades. These negotiations should simply be focused on the DUP working the institutions created under both the GFA and StAA. This includes, but is not limited to, the devolution of P+J.

    The Parades Commission is not perfect but it is the best there is at the moment, orange parades are a seperate discussion all together. Personally I would merely tell the DUP we can talk about Parades after you have devolved P+J. Then, when the time comes, I would politely again try to explain to them simple concepts like “Rights come with Responsibilities”, “Respect your neighbour”, “Equality and human dignity”. If they are not prepared to talk to the residents and / or political representatives then the OO get nothing. In fact I would make them pay for cleaning up and policing their own drink fests and road closures.

    Okay, I wouldn’t be that harsh but it would be my end position if they did not show some flexibility. But Hillsborough is not the place to discuss the OO, I don’t remember the Orange Order signing the GFA or StAA.

  • RG Cuan

    Everybody except a hardline minority can see that scrapping the Parades Commission is ludicrous. You’d think the DUP and Orange Order actually want a return to violent summers.

    It is also totally unreasonable – frankly delusional – to compare, or swap, parading in contentious areas for P+J and an ILA. Will the Assembly controlling NI’s own justice structures, or promoting Irish Gaelic a bit in areas that want it, bring uncalled for intimidation and sectariansim to our streets? No. Loyalist parades in areas where they’re not welcome will. Get real DUP/OO.

  • tacapall

    Turgon, P+J is the most important issue for Sinn Fein anything else is a bonus, Sinn Fein is the buyer, the DUP are the sellers, they are under pressure from the two governments and America P+J will be devolved . The DUP need some sort of victory, the only favour Sinn Fein can give them is scrapping the PC in return for the ILA.

  • Jaggers

    I’m still confused why demands surrounding such a small group as the Orange Order and their parades could derail the Assembly and return direct rule of whatever hue.

    The latest estimate of members in the Orange Order that I have seen is 35,728 in 2006, and that number is trending downward (see link below for article). The 2009 estimated population of Northern Ireland is 1775000. The 2001 census said 45.9% of the population then were Protestant and 73.2% were 18 years and older. Applying those numbers that means that of the 596k adult Protestant population, 6% are members of the Orange Order.

    What I’m confused by is why the country is being held to ransom by 6% of its Protestant adult population? Or indeed 2% of its total adult population?

    http://www.newsletter.co.uk/news/Orange-Order-numbers-in-decline.5412751.jp

  • Comrade Stalin

    Personally I would not be negotiating anything about Orange Parades.

    Why not ?

    These negotiations should simply be focused on the DUP working the institutions created under both the GFA and StAA. This includes, but is not limited to, the devolution of P+J.

    I think the delay over P+J is ridiculous. But I don’t see how intransigence over the parades issue helps.

    Instead of blocking without question the idea of abolishing the Parades Commission, why don’t we talk about how to replace it with something better ? That should surely be win win. Especially if the parade goes over to independent arbitration if the residents and bands fail to agree a compromise.

    Sinn Fein look to be in danger of opposing this for no reason other than that the DUP have asked for it.

  • tacapall, this is part of a much larger problem, namely the paramilitary control of local communities. Local godfathers decide who can live there, who can do business there as well as who can pass through. It’s a form of self-imposed apartheid.

    The hiatus in Portadown and elsewhere has only really been of benefit to the paramilitaries; it has been to the disadvantage of politicians as well as to these local communities.

    I don’t know the detail of the Derry solution but I suspect in part it comes down to a wide spectrum of local interests being represented.

  • James

    I was almost shocked at how many OO group members on facebook were also members of a facebook group opposed to the Islamic fellahs march in Wootton Bassett, one was also a member of a group “I hate hypocrites” 🙂

    ” Local godfathers decide who can live there, who can do business there as well as who can pass through. It’s a form of self-imposed apartheid.”

    No offence, but no, you’re dead wrong on this. Not wanting to have to stay indoors all day whilst fat drunks piss in the street singing hate anthems has nothing to do with ‘self imposed apartheid’.

  • USA

    Tacapal,
    I agree this is all about the DUP meeting its responsibilities. I watched Sammy Wilson doing a couple of press conferences in the last 24 hours and actually had to wonder what world does he inhabit. It is certainly detached from reality. Despite whatever drivel Sammy Wilson feeds the backwoodsmen the DUP will find themselves in a very difficult position.
    Your logic is good tacapal but I think Robinson would have to walk away before he could conceed P+J along with an ILA in return for the scrapping of the PC. If he agreed to that deal he would be cut to pieces by TUV and UUP.

    But make no mistake, the DUP have over played their hand. The devolution of P+J, the North/South bodies etc are not Sinn Fein issues, they are GFA / StAA issues. The US, the British and the Irish governments are all in favor of the full implementation of the GFA and StAA. The DUP have got themseleves into a big mess. The picked a fight with SF and now have to face the other stakeholders also, they are weak politically with elections looming and no hope of coming out of Hillsborough with the Parades Commission as consolation prize.

    I’m not actullly so sure a deal can be done. SF have had enough of the DUP. While I don’t think SF want to withdraw I think they can make progress without a northern assembly in place.

    On a related topic, what has Gregory Campbell been up to since he gave Peter Robinson a week to get his life sorted out? And Peter Robinson, he can fly to England for secret talks on Unionist election pacts, can negotiate into the wee hours with SF and much more. It seems the only thing Peter cannot do is face the press. Does he represent the OFMDFM or not? An election would force him back out into the open.

  • tacapall

    I understand what you mean Nevin but its sort of one sided, are you saying that the residents of Garvaghy Road are all paramilitaries. What about the paramilataries who murdered and caused chaos because the O.O couldn’t get marching where the residents didn’t want them. Its not a large problem, its only a few contentious parades by a small minority of the population here that is holding the future to ransom.

  • James, I’m not advocating the right of drunks to piss on anyone’s street and I suspect you’re not advocating the right of godfathers to exclude those who’s face don’t fit, under threat of death or otherwise.

  • James

    I probably should have added that it’s hilarious that you use a turn of phrase like

    “Local godfathers decide who can live there, who can do business there as well as who can pass through. It’s a form of self-imposed apartheid.”

    when anyone with even a passing interest in the OO, would tell you that they were a bunch of agrarian boot boys who decided who can live there, who can do business there as well as who can pass through.
    Not some lofty battlefield survivors with an eternal pledge of brotherhood, simply one half of a two sided culchie punch up over keeping themuns out of the best farming land.

  • tacapall, one set of paramilitaries played into the other’s hands. A casual glance at say Bebo would indicate that young ones are apparently more interested in loyalist and republican marching bands than in the Loyal Orders and AOH – apart from those who aren’t interested in any of this.

  • James, I’m a culchie but I’ve never indulged in punch-ups, agrarian or townie 🙂

  • CongalClaen

    It seems Unionist culture cannot be tolerated anywhere outside of where they’re wanted. That being the case I suppose the GAA won’t be allowed anywhere that they’re not wanted. For example, the workplace. I can’t imagine an OO lodge in the workplace. Why are GAA teams allowed in the workplace? Perhaps a few test cases are needed?

  • The Raven

    “apart from those who aren’t interested in any of this…”

    Which, Nevin, I can assure you is indeed most of them. I’ve just done some work with a few localised youth fora. The interests, which were wide, followed the same initial path:

    – the opposite sex
    – music, films and TV
    – where am I going to get a job?
    – bebo
    – why isn’t there a cinema in my town?
    – I wanna get a rock band together

    This is not to say that they did not impart some opinions on the politics here which absolutely convinced me that they are taking it all in.

    But it DID say that it came VERY far down their lists of “things that impinge on my day-to-day life.” Thank God. They have enough ahead of them without that trash crowding their lives.

  • Jaggers

    “It seems Unionist culture cannot be tolerated anywhere outside of where they’re wanted. That being the case I suppose the GAA won’t be allowed anywhere that they’re not wanted. For example, the workplace. I can’t imagine an OO lodge in the workplace. Why are GAA teams allowed in the workplace? Perhaps a few test cases are needed?”

    Posted by CongalClaen on Jan 26, 2010 @ 09:01 PM

    Conga, the GAA is a sporting organisation and is open to all regardless of religion and if you don’t want to be part of a work sports team, then don’t. If you think the GAA is a Catholic organisation then think again. The highest trophy is the Sam McGuire Cup after Sam who was a Protestant and recent presidents of the GAA have been protestants.

    On the other hand, can you imagine a Catholic turning up to apply to join the Orange Order? Remember that scene from Lethal Weapon 2 when Danny Glover is at the South African embassy and wants to go to South Africa, remember the reaction he got? Of course Catholics are specifically excluded from the Orange Order, but you get the idea.

    I wonder if anyone from Labour has picked up on David Cameron’s proximity to the Orange Order?

  • Drumlins Rock

    “they processed past”

    is that proper english?

    oh BTW jaggers although Catholics cant join the OO they can join and many have joined the marching bands and took part in the 12th etc. probably a similar proportion to the number of Prods who play GAA.

  • Raven, how representative are youth fora? Those with an interest in marching bands either as participants or followers will be interested in most of that list too, including trash rock bands!!

  • Jaggers

    Drumlin Rock

    “They [Catholics] can join and many have joined the marching bands and took part in the 12th etc” – what’s the source for that in particular “Many have joined”?

    As for Prods playing hurling or football, don’t know the proportions, religion isn’t an issue in the Republic and btw it’s a great way to meet new friends and get fit.

  • wje

    Personally, if you were talking about ‘one final period’on Garvaghy Road, then I’d go for it.

    But it’s not for me to say, is it?

    Posted by Chris Donnelly on Jan 26, 2010 @ 07:06

    The two day stand off of 1995 ended when the Garvaghy residents agreed to let an OO march go ahead on the understanding that it was to be the final march. Look what happened in 96 and 97, the OO marched again. It wasn’t until the Parades Commission took the decision making away from the police and politicians that the marches were rerouted. But the OO and their friends continued their campaign, which let us not forget included the murder of several people in Portadown. One final march – it has already taken place – in 1997.
    So we know that the Shinners are now going to try their sell-out as a one final march scenario.

  • scarecrow

    The OO refused to talk to residents, they’ve treated the residents with disdain, it is they who are affected, it is the people who live there who say ‘talk to us’, they’ve been offered talks time and time again, but the OO see it as loosing face. What change to that will this deal make?

    There will be orange feet on garvaghy road, and if SF take this step and sell out these residents we’ll see violence on our streets and set back years. Who could respect SF afterwards, they’d never get a vote from me if they do.

  • RepublicanStones

    Which is more important to the OO…

    *Marching a route you have walked for 20 odd years?

    or

    *Marching a route that has residents which support the ethos of your org and enjoy the spectacle of the bands?

  • Stewart

    ‘oh BTW jaggers although Catholics cant join the OO they can join and many have joined the marching bands and took part in the 12th etc.’

    Can’t see many wanting to join the growing number of loyalist terrorist supporting bands being incorporated into orange parades over the last ten years.

  • Stephen Ferguson

    What I’m confused by is why the country is being held to ransom by 6% of its Protestant adult population? Or indeed 2% of its total adult population?

    Posted by Jaggers on Jan 26, 2010 @ 07:53 PM

    You seem to be forgetting the 1,000s of male and female members of marching bands and the 10’s of 1,000s of spectators who enjoy watching the parades each year.

    ———-

    No offence, but no, you’re dead wrong on this. Not wanting to have to stay indoors all day whilst fat drunks piss in the street singing hate anthems has nothing to do with ‘self imposed apartheid’.

    Posted by James on Jan 26, 2010 @ 08:17 PM

    Have a peek at the Belfast Telegraph photo album from last years Twelfth. Find me all the ‘fat drunks pissing in the street singing hate anthems’. Might be hard to spot them amongst the families, pensioners, etc enjoying a day out. Try going to one of these events yourself instead of judging them on news reports. They’re not really as bad as your local political representatives tell you they are.

    http://alturl.com/s2rz

  • RepublicanStones

    Have a peek at the Belfast Telegraph photo album from last years Twelfth. Find me all the ‘fat drunks pissing in the street singing hate anthems’.

    Lets be honest Stephen, its hardly likely to print them now is it?

    Try going to one of these events yourself instead of judging them on news reports.

    Contradicted yourself there, haven’t you?

  • Mark McGregor

    Stephen,

    I tried it last year at several venues and while most was as you state a sizeable stretch between Bedford St and Tates avenue was pretty much as described above.

  • Stephen Ferguson

    Well if you skip towards the end of the album you’ll find a photo of a nationalist protestor giving the fingers to a passing band. If they’re willing to print that then I’m sure they’d have no problem printing any photos of drunken, rowdy or anti-social behaviour.

    Or perhaps the truth is these events are watched by families from across the entire unionist spectrum, pass off peacefully and the only time there is any trouble is when the parades are being opposed by ‘residents’ bussed in from other parts of the country to be offended.

    It’s easy to be offended if you want to be – and if Sinn Fein are running a bus to get you there.

  • RepublicanStones

    Well if you skip towards the end of the album you’ll find a photo of a nationalist protestor giving the fingers to a passing band.

    Thanks for proving my point. ‘Editorial Slant’ is something you might wanna look up.

  • Stephen Ferguson

    They’re all out to get you RepublicanStones aren’t they??

    I heard the Telegraph is delivered to Jim Allister every day before going to print so he can check it’s ok. I’m sure you know this already though…

  • RepublicanStones

    Well Stephen I’ll just have to take your word for it. After all, your the fella who is tellin us there are more nationalist protestor(s) giving the fingers on the 12th than there are drunken attendees and people singing ahem…anthems.

  • CongalClaen

    Hi Jaggers,

    You’re not the fist Nationalist on here that thinks sectarianism is purely a religious thing. Although it can be it can also have a cultural or nationalistic side. The GAA are sectarian taking this more encompassing view. On the OO thing when was the last time you remember ar argument between the OO and protestors over religion? Parades are not a religious dispute between Protestanism and Catholicism. Most of the protagonists probably don’t even know the difference. For a start, if they were Christian they shouldn’t support terrorism. Turn the other cheek, etc, etc…

    To support your argument you name Prod GAA players. It may surprise you to know that there have been Catholics in the UVF. Does that then mean the UVF are non-sectarian?

  • Stephen Ferguson

    Well Stephen I’ll just have to take your word for it.

    Posted by RepublicanStones on Jan 27, 2010 @ 12:04 AM

    I’d be happy to host you this 12th July if you’re free for the day? Would hate to think someone had such a strong opinion on something without witnessing it as it really is first hand.

    It’s a bit like me believing every GAA player is in the IRA because a number of clubs are named after dead terrorists and others allow their social clubs and grounds to be used for fundraisers/memorial parades.

    I know it’s not true but perhaps it’s just easier to tar everyone with the same brush. That seems to be way to go with Republicans on this site.

    —————-

    I tried it last year at several venues and while most was as you state a sizeable stretch between Bedford St and Tates avenue was pretty much as described above.

    Posted by Mark McGregor on Jan 26, 2010 @ 11:42 PM

    So you’ll confirm Mark that any of the dozens of feeder parades you witnessed, as well as Belfast city centre, Dublin Road, the vast majority of Lisburn Road, Balmoral Avenue, Malone Road and Barnetts Demesne and the same route back again was enjoyed by thousands of families/pensioners/etc as opposed to the ‘fat drunk sectarian pissheads’ some people above like to make out? I wish more people would witness things for themselves like you Mark instead of basing their opinions on what Sinn Fein tell them to think.

  • “loyalist terrorist supporting bands”

    Probably more likely to join the republican terrorist supporting bands, Stewart.

  • Driftwood

    Jaggers
    Why don’t the GAA proclaim themselves to be a secular sports organisation, and say they want nothing to do with paedophile cults like the Catholic Church?
    Or hypocritical evangelical Prods?
    FIFA, UEFA or the Premier League do not seem to be related to any religious/paedophile group. But the GAA insists on young boy parochial religious human geography.
    Whatever you guys get off on, Brazilian women beach volleyball is my preference.

  • RepublicanStones

    Would hate to think someone had such a strong opinion on something without witnessing it as it really is first hand.

    You can rest easy then Stephen. I grew up witnessing them first hand, and its kinda hard to ignore them on the 12th (nevermind the whole bleedin summer)…particularly if you are in town. Also I like to mix in the odd time and really get a feel (its prob the fact i don’t wear a celtic jersey means you didn’t spot me). Your belief that everyone who is critical of the OO just haven’t taken the time to witness them first hand sits well with your ignorance of editorial bias…and what was that you were saying about tarring?

  • Mark McGregor

    Stephen,

    No, I confirmed the vast majority of what I saw wasn’t pissheads but a large element of the central Belfast parade was pretty base. I wrote a blog about it but can’t be arsed digging it out.

  • Mark McGregor
  • Stephen Ferguson

    Well if you’ve taken the time to witness them first hand on a number of occasions and still believe they are frequented entirely by ‘fat drunks pissing in the street singing hate anthems’ there isn’t anything I can say to change your opinion.

    I know from my many years of watching parades that they are family events where people enjoy meeting up with friends and family they might not have seen for a while whilst enjoying the music and various choices of fast food. 🙂

    I appreciate you taking the time to witness a few parades for yourself though. Nice to hear arguments based on experience rather than what Gerry and the lads have led you to believe.

  • Driftwood

    The GAA could do themselves a favour and say they have nothing to do with paedophile cults like the Catholic Church and say religion is nothing to do with them. Like the FA. But they can’t, because they’re Catholic. No big deal but, just say so.

  • RepublicanStones

    Stephen me ‘aul flower, i don’t recall ever claiming that OO parades are frequented entirely by ‘fat drunks pissing in the street singing hate anthems’.

    I’d say a minority, which increases depending on the location.

  • Ewenuts

    “I wish more people would witness things for themselves like you Mark instead of basing their opinions on what Sinn Fein tell them to think.”

    I live just off the Dublin Road and walked to my Girlfriend’s on the upper Ormeau During the marching. I can confirm that it was like someone blew up a Buckfast factory with a piss bomb. My girlfriend (a french girl) was abused and shouted at the whole way up with lewd remarks and gestures. I have yogurt in my fridge that displays a more believable culture than this. I am sure in other parts it is not like this but in Belfast centre it is medieval and sinister.

  • nollaig a chara

    I fail to see how the parades issue can actually be on the table it has always been said that the orange order must engage with the residents groups 1st

  • Stephen Ferguson

    Stephen,

    Sorry, here’s the link
    Posted by Mark McGregor on Jan 27, 2010 @ 12:45 AM

    Thanks Mark,

    Your constant fear of being recognised as one of them ‘other uns’ reminds me of exactly how I felt the first time I ended up in the GAA club in Kilwilkie, Lurgan. I refused to sit anywhere but beside the fire exit in case I needed to make a quick getaway! lol

    It’s an entirely different experience once you get away from that Sandy Row/Donegall Pass area. As people commentating on your blog said – the rest of the route and all the local parades outside of Belfast have an entirely different feel. Kids queuing up for ice-cream, little old ladies chewing on corned beef sandwiches and groups of teenagers in fancy dress (see the photo of the 118-118 guys in that Belfast Telegraph link I posted earlier in the thread).

    Try getting yourself up to the field at Shaws Bridge this year if you’re going – I’ll even shout you a 99!

  • Stephen Ferguson

    Stephen me ‘aul flower, i don’t recall ever claiming that OO parades are frequented entirely by ‘fat drunks pissing in the street singing hate anthems’.

    I’d say a minority, which increases depending on the location.

    Posted by RepublicanStones on Jan 27, 2010 @ 01:03 AM

    Sincere apologies. I’ve got you mixed up with another poster I quoted earlier in the thread.

  • Stewart

    “loyalist terrorist supporting bands”

    Probably more likely to join the republican terrorist supporting bands, Stewart.

    nevin.

    i’m not aware of a Thomas begley Republican flute band that passes close to the spot where he murdered innocent people on the Shankill Road, but i DO know that in December, the Apprentice boys hired, and was led by a band commemorating UVF commander Brian Robinson. The Apprentice Boys had no misgivings about the fact that Robinson murdered his victim close to where the parade passed Ardoyne.

    What does that tell you about the people who hired and agreed to the use of this band?

    Staying with Ardoyne, as it has been the most contentious parading area in recent times.

    The Orange Order demand the right to the pass the Ardoyne shops area, as it is their right.

    Why then do they choose to be led by a band who commemorate ‘UVF’ volunteers’. What have UVF men sam Rockett & William Hanna got to do with an Orange Order parade?

    The Orange Order need to decide if they are going to break the link with bands commemorating loyalist terrorists, if not, they can hardly expect to be welcomed by communities who suffered greatly at the hands of these loyalist killers.

    If someone wants to play in or support a band like those mentioned above, that’s up to them. I’ve no problem with that. But i don’t expect the Orange Order to be facilitating their use in areas where they cause deep offence to the victims of loyalist terrorism.

  • Stephen Ferguson

    I’m not sure of every case but I believe the Brian Robinson band you mentioned in your post commemorates him because he was actually a member of the band before he was killed by the security services.

    There’s also a band in the Coleraine area named after a dead UDA man (forget the name at the minute). Once again, he was a member of the band before he died and they changed their name afterwards to commemorate him.

    I suppose the bands would say they have every right to remember past members much in the same way many GAA clubs named after dead Republicans say they have only done it because ‘he was a former player’.

    Although there have also been numerous occasions when Orange lodges have refused to commemorate dead UVF and UDA men who were members and expelled ones convicted of paramilitary activities so I think it depends on the local leadership in the OO and what action they take regarding UDA/UVF members.

  • Jaggers

    Drumlin Rock, page 2, msg 5

    “They [Catholics] can join and many have joined the marching bands and took part in the 12th etc” – what’s the source for that in particular “Many have joined”?

  • Kensei

    Stephen

    I know from my many years of watching parades that they are family events where people enjoy meeting up with friends and family they might not have seen for a while whilst enjoying the music and various choices of fast food. 🙂

    Ah. I love how when anyone is interviewed about the twelfth, they always – always – say “It’s a family day”. Perhaps multiple times.

    They do that because they know they are at something with one hell of a lot of baggage that may offend the ketholic neighbours, but they must weigh that up against the prospect of ice cream in a field.

  • CongalClaen

    Hi Stephen,

    There should be no commemoration of terrorists in any loyalist band, regardless if they had been a member. The majority of unionists do not approve of it. Nevermind how it looks to nationalists. BTW, I’m unionist/loyalist.

  • An Lorgain

    I won’t forget those sleepless nights in Portadown, half a mile from the church. Every night loyalists would be singing ‘hang the fenian scum’ and other cultured songs, there was also a constant barrage of fireworks. Then during the day they would be spitting on you ‘dirty fenian b******s’ coming through the army barricades. I was convinced the loyalists would breakthrough during the night and because we were one of the closet homes to the church, we would almost certainly be killed, the (hunting) shotgun we had gave some sense of safety.

    I left Portadown after that year and most of my freinds from then are now living in Boston. Now we have the DUP championing the OO and risking the GFA in order to return to those days, I have to laugh when I see the DUP on TV claiming “we are working for [b]all the people of NI[/b]”

  • Stephen Ferguson

    “They [Catholics] can join and many have joined the marching bands and took part in the 12th etc” – what’s the source for that in particular “Many have joined”?

    Posted by Jaggers on Jan 27, 2010 @ 08:09 AM

    I can’t comment on how many catholics are involved in marching bands but I do know that any band which has applied for and received funding from the National Lottery must have it written into their constitution that catholics are welcome as members.

    Obviously it’s not going to lead to a flood of catholic members but it show’s they are accepted if they wanted to join. Perhaps if the OO were to do something similar it would put an end to accusations of sectarianism and anti-catholicism.