How would unionists fare in the ‘road ownership’ challenge?

A favoured mantra of the pro-Loyal Orders parading lobby is that no particular grouping “owns” a road. The assertion is invariably made in the context of Loyal Order parades scheduled to proceed along roads through predominantly nationalist areas.

Of course, the issue of road ownership is a nonsense. Members of the very organisations which assert the right to parade along such routes as expressions of their liberties would be the first to screech in horror were reciprocal parades through neighbouring loyalist communities to be planned for by Irish republicans, using the same justification. Or would they?

Think back to the loyalist campaign of intimidation in north Antrim which was precipitated by unionist reaction to the prospect of a republican parade in August 2005 in what Ian Paisley Jnr labelled a “unionist town,” Ballymena. Incidentally, that was a rather unfortunate line of argument by the North Antrim representative given that, if logic was applied equally across the board, it would bring to an end Loyal Order parading in “nationalist” towns like Derry, Newry etc etc.

As things stand, and have for a very long time,Loyalist parading in nationalist areas is about demanding a level of tolerance of expressions of the British/ unionist culture which those involved have no intention of reciprocating  with regard to tolerance of expressions of the Irish nationalist culture. The sight of an Irish Tricolour in predominantly unionist Coleraine was enough to precipitate a vicious sectarian attack last year which ended with one man being murdered, whilst loyalists also protested violently at a similar appearance of a tricolour in Banbridge. Consequently, the prospect of republican parades through the centres of such towns with larger catholic minority populations than the protestant minorities in many other towns playing host to Loyal Order parades is, quite frankly, very close to zero.

But with regard to parading, crucially, that challenge has rarely been put to the test by republicans, who have instead opted for the moral high ground argument of objecting to the sectarian nature of the Loyal Orders on parade.

But, just perhaps, in the case of the Crumlin Road/Ardoyne parade dispute, a deal involving reciprocity could hold the key to defusing the annual conflict which flares up in mid-July.

It is an argument I have made before.

One of the elements of the loyalist case is that a parade provides the only means for their marchers and followers to return home after the Twelfth. By the same token, however, a case could be made for a republican parade from Legoniel to Ardoyne (and on to the City Centre if necessary). It genuinely is the case that there is no other means of getting from Legoneil down to the centre of Belfast other than by travelling through Ballysillan.

All of the sidestepping points normally employed by loyalists could be made:

  • Much of the parade route in Ballysillan would pass commercial premises;
  • It’d take but a couple of minutes to stroll from Legoniel down the Crumlin Road to the more catholic environs approaching St Gabriel’s;
  • This is a mixed road and those opposing clearly simply wouldn’t want a catholic about the place

(You get the picture.)

Such a proposal would throw down the gauntlet to loyalists to effectively practice what they preach and actually provide all with a win-win scenario if handled carefully.

Of course, those republican parades need not be as cynical as some of the Loyalist parades pushed through this area, not least the disgraceful parade organised to pay tribute to a UVF man along the route in which he killed a local catholic man- a parade recently very publicly opposed by the deceased UVF man’s brother. The experience of playing host to a republican commemoration might even make some of those responsible for organising such provocative parades think twice after listening to complaints from others in their local community.

But the fact that unionist communities would be tasked with proving their willingness to host reciprocal expressions of republican culture would be a game changing development with regard to this specific parade dispute as their ability or inability to accept the challenge could either transform the atmosphere prevailing at the Ardoyne interface during Loyal Order parades or finally discredit the loyalist case for continuing with contentious parades.

Personally, my favoured scenario would be one in which the Crumlin Road played host to marchers of a green hue at Easter and Orange hue in July, with both sides agreeing this as an honourable compromise worth building on in future years.

  • TAFKABO

    Good article Chris, even if it does have a fatally flawed premise, that is to say the idea that what is of particular significance and importance to Unionist and loyalist culture is replicated exactly on the Nationalist and Republican side.
    The truth is that parading is more significant to Unionists than it is to Nationalists. This is important to note because this means that any restrictions upon parading, even if that restriction applies to all, will obviously have a greater impact upon the Unionist community.
    That being said, you make very good points about people claiming that areas or roads belonging to all, then getting indignant when Republicans want to use those areas for their own political or cultural expressions.

    What we need to be looking for is a solution that sees people being free to express their politics or culture, as long as they demonstrate a willingness to allow those with a different culture or politics have the same freedoms.

  • aquifer

    ‘were reciprocal parades through neighbouring loyalist communities to be planned for by Irish republicans’

    Irish separatists will not ask to parade, as being given permission to parade and a police escort for safe conduct does not fit with their preferred narrative of state cultural oppression.

  • I think the prospect of a Republican parade from Ligoniel down the Crumlin Road into Ardoyne, is one that the communities of Greater Ardoyne nor Ligoniel would want.

    The core issue is not about various traditions expressing their respective cultures.

    It is that these parades are effectively sectarian marches which are not welcome in Ardoyne. People in the Greater Ardoyne area want to get on with their lives without militarised curfews, thousands of riot-clad Police and the regular violence associated with Loyal Order marches.

    The only way to do that is to stop parades, not suggest more!

  • This debate is being studiously kept onto generalised ideas like ‘owning the road’ to avoid specifics like who is actually parading, where and why. It’s true that the vast majority of parades have no issues around them so it’s easy for the Orders to try and hide their defence within wider arguments around parading culture etc.
    So, in that context, while there was (rightly) considerable discussion over who exactly turned up to Ardoyne to protest against the parade on the twelfth – there was pretty much no analysis of who was parading there on the same day. An example of this was the odd uncomfortable discussion over the twelfth parades in Ardoyne on some of the threads on Slugger where the conventional lines on parading were being pushed and laughed at – e.g. UVF uniforms are fine as they are only about the 1912 UVF not the modern phenomenon (how could anyone be offended by that or even mistake one for the other?). Similarly, the issue of the bands and who they were was being batted away as if it was somehow of no importance.
    There would be a simple interim test of your proposal Chris – across the contentious part of the route the Order could be accompanied by some republican flute band or other from Ardoyne (I’m not an afficionado, so I can’t think of one, but I’m sure there is). Even if the band only supplied a drum-beat or whatever, that would be a great bit of cross-community sharing – the Order gets to ‘parade’ etc and the flute band’s buddies will come out to watch. Where would the harm be in that?

  • DoppiaVu

    So basically this is an attempt to equate Orange marches which are fundamentally cultural in nature (but often with political overtones) with Republican marches which are fundamentally political and have no other purpose.

    It’s a nonsense really, but unforunately the only people that can expose this flawed argument are the Orange Order themselves. And the only way for them to do this is to clean up their act in terms of meddling in politics and by severing their connections with the less savoury elements on the loyalist side.

  • “…meddling in politics and by severing their connections with the less savoury elements on the loyalist side.”
    That hardly supports your argument that the Orders are ‘fundamentally’ cultural in nature. It would be more appropriate to claim that they are partly cultural, partly political, partly religious (since your religious beliefs can, if nothing lese, exclude you from membership). Part of the wider issue is that Orders have to take public ownership of the specturm of activties it engages – political, religious and cultural. While the Orders want to maintain the public fiction that is merely engaged in the last of these three suggests they is either embarassed or downright deceptive in it’s political role and isn’t too happy engaging with the issue of religion in public. Until it does, it’s not a cultural organisation.

  • Whatifery, the quieter sibling of whataboutery.

  • Acutally it is the parade organisers who routinely act as if they own the road, for they require that it be closed to others while they are using it. This is a lot more than demanding the simple right to use it as others do.

  • Mack

    Alternatively you could always take a libertarian approach – allow any marchers to organise whatever parades they like – within certain defined parameters that respect the important rights of residents, but add the police bill to a special Northern Ireland-wide rates tax to be paid at Christmas every year.

  • slug

    I think that the future will have to be about sharing, not owning.

  • Anon

    The libertarian argument is a red herring, Mack. No one is challenging the fundamental right of orangemen to march. It’s 100% absolute their right in a free society. What are talked about is more often or not a shift of often tiny distances or timing but they are elevated to apocalypse.

    But no government anywhere allows completely unrestircted freedom of assembly. Parades are moved because they are a nuisance to residents, they are expensive to police, or are difficult to police. Static assemblies, including commercial ones. are subject to restrictions because of nuisance to local residents. When T Vital was going, it finished at 11. This is the same anywhere in the UK – and Scotland was talking about greatly restricting the number of parades due to cost.

    Nationalists do not own the road. But neither do Orangemen. It’s a public good. There are competing rights involved and if accomodation will not be reached, a solution will be imposed. In good faith, but one or possibly both sides will not like it. Both sides need to get their head around that.

  • Mack

    I don’t think it’s a red herring. You’ve got a number sets of rights that should be respected – those of the marchers, those of the residents, those of other road users and those of tax payers.

    As things currently stand predominantly English tax payers pick up the bill so there is no incentive not to elevate relatively small changes to apocalypse. In fact there are large incentives to do so (no cost + increased chance of winning).

    If the rules were changed so that NI taxpayers were to foot the bill in a regressive manner, but any parades applied for would accepted within reason (regardless of resident vocal opposition – they could of course host their own counter parades). I imagine that after one shocking Christmas bill, those seeking confrontation might find themselves as about as popular as any leader raising taxes without a concomitant rise in public service levels!

  • Anon

    It is, and its not even libertarian. I neither parade nor protest, Mack. Why should my taxes go through the roof to pay for it? Why should the rest of society be held to ransom by a small minority that won’t care, exactly?

    The truly libertarian option is to allow any parades but require any organisation that does so – original or protest – to foot the entire bill. Which is a neat illustration of how full libertarianism actually restricts rights to the rich.

    Nope. We have mechanisms in place that are reasonable. We can certainly tweak them, but both sides need to either work out an agreement, or dela with the consequences. Counter protest / march? Fine. Mayhem? Jail.

    The freedom of assembly argument by orangemen needs crushed at every opportunity though, as it is insidious and sounds reasonable until you start examinign other areas.

  • Anon

    Or it might ake everyone happier. It’s a counterfactual. I’m, not keen: most people aren’t. They prefer all or nothing. But if a majority West of the Bann took to it, there isn’t a lot that could stop the natural outworking of those forces whether I like it or not.

  • Anon

    Wrong threa dplease delte.

  • circles

    dear groundwater storage area,
    Where do irish separatists want to separate from? They already live in Ireland.

  • John East Belfast

    circles

    “Where do irish separatists want to separate from? They already live in Ireland”

    well what is all this nationalist/republican fuss about then and why cant they play football for the part of ireland in which they were born ?

  • John East Belfast

    I think it is wrong to draw a comparison between “Republican Parades” and “Orange” ones.

    Firstly any association of the OO with Paramilitary Loyalist bands is totally wrong and should not be tolerated – however that is the exception and not the rule.

    However “Republican ” Parades are all about paramilitarism and the glorification of 20th Century IRA activity.

    A better comparison with the OO would be the AOH on which there most definitely is road sharing – Kilkeel is a case in point where they not only share the road but they share Banner poles as well and other marching paraphanalia.

    Would I object to an orderly AOH parade past my house – not at all – I would go out and watch the spectacle.
    Would I objeto an IRA parade outside my house – most definitely but I wouldnt want a UDA one either

  • Mack

    The truly libertarian option is to allow any parades but require any organisation that does so – original or protest – to foot the entire bill.

    How is it libertarian to elevate the liberties of the paraders over those of the residents and other road users?

    You’ve solved the issue of taxpayers rights, but merely by foisting the bill onto the paraders.

    Which is a neat illustration of how full libertarianism actually restricts rights to the rich.

    Not really, it is a neat illustration of how full libertarianism (not something I’m in favour off, fwiw) would force people to treat each other with more respect than in a molly-coddled society.

    Why should the rest of society be held to ransom by a small minority that won’t care, exactly?

    If only. Certainly around the orginal Drumcree contest, NI was completely polarised with society as a whole implicitly or explicitly backing one side or the other.

    If Northerners want to tolerate a minority of people being pricks to each other, maybe they shouldn’t expect the English to foot the bill. I don’t accept they won’t care. They will care deeply if the communities in which they live turned against them..

  • Obelisk

    What about an AOH parade with IRA flute bands acompanying?

  • Charminator

    “well what is all this nationalist/republican fuss about then and why cant they play football for the part of ireland in which they were born ?”

    Ireland is not ‘parts’ to Republicans/Nationalists: it is Ireland – plain and simple. At least make some effort to understand the Republican/Nationalist psyche. The very possibility of asking most Republicans/Nationalists to play for one of the two ‘Irelands’ thrusts to the heart of their identity.

    I recognise you appreciate this anyway, but spouting the same persistent nonsense isn’t going to achieve any progress, it certainly isn’t going to encourage Republicans/Nationalists to voluntarily opt to play for ‘NI’ (and as we now know, it must now be VOLUNTARY, rather than COMPELLED under pain of playing for no one else).

    I’d change tact, if I were you, if you actually want Republicans/Nationalists to play a role in your ‘Wee Country’ or you risk repeating the long Unionist mistake of Stormont misrule by completely alienating Republicans/Nationalists.

    A start might go something like this:

    “I’m a Unionist. I recognise that you, at the heart of your identity, object to the creation of Northern Ireland and that you do not perceive yourself to be Northern Irish first, but rather Irish first. But, given that the fulfilment of your ideal of unity is not achievable by you in the short-term, why not help make Northern Ireland work, as you do in government. Let’s build some sort of connection with our local football team.”

    And, of course, match words with actions… anthems, IFA’s culture, fans’ behaviour, presence of offensive flags, etc. You might be more successful by engaging in dialogue, rather than trying to rely on COMPULSION alone to achieve your ends.

    See, I’ve even given you a helping hand in understanding your Republican/Nationalist brothers.

  • Mack

    I’ll expand my original point, because I think you may have speed read it.

    allow any marchers to organise whatever parades they like – within certain defined parameters that respect the important rights of residents

    The conditions for a legal march should be codified and if any group meets those conditions, the march should be allowed. The law should encorporate due respect for the rights of marchers, residents, traders, road users, taxpayers and any other stakeholders. There should be one law for everyone – so the conditions for an Orange march are identical for a St. Paddy’s march or AOH, UDA, IRA, UVF, neo-Nazi grouping, civil liberties group etc.

    We shouldn’t be having these comparitive conversations about whether a march is political, cultural, scientific, religous, slow, fast etc. A march should be a march and the law could determine whether it goes ahead or not.

    but add the police bill to a special Northern Ireland-wide rates tax to be paid at Christmas every year

    People in NI are used to abdicating financial responsibility for their actions (I actually think this is much worse and more obvious on the Orange side, as there often is the conceit that they pay their taxes and no-one else does). While this part isn’t particularly liberal – in fact it is quite illiberal. In the absence of fiscal independence in NI – it does foist a very noticable penalty on Northerners for their toleration of bad neighborliness (and probably more to the point, outright stubbornness – how is this still going on in 2010 ???)

  • Charminator

    John East Belfast.

    Republicans/Nationalists the length and breadth of Ireland commemorate the Easter Rising. It is not about celebrating or glorifying paramilitarism, it is a seminal event in Ireland’s search for national sovereignty.

    Do not make the mistake of assuming Republicanism and SF or IRA are the same thing. They are not and the vast majority of the people of southern Ireland will have no difficulty in correcting this for you either.

    Most Republicans/Nationalists in Ireland wanted nothing to do with sectarian tit-for-tat killings. That is not to say they felt at all comfortable about the disgraceful excesses of the ‘Orange State’ or British Govt collusion either. It is simply to emphasise that the spokespeople you perceive as representing Irish Republicanism do not represent most Irish Republicans on this island.

    So, a SF Republicanism parade is, in short, a SF parade. Packaging it as anything other than a SF parade is likely to be as offensive to many Republicans in southern Ireland (for seeking to monopolise Irish history), as it is to you.

    Look beyond what may seem immediately obvious to you!

  • John East Belfast

    Charminator

    But we are not talking about the length and breadth of Ireland – we are talking about the streets of Northern Ireland and everyone up here knows what a Republican Parade is.

    Although now that you raise it I dont understand how an Orange Parade is acceptable to the natinalist citisens of Donegall every year but isnt acceptable to the same (I am told) Irish citisens in Belfast or Portadown ?

    Also as for the “Orange State” comment what is you have been saying about using the offensive language of the past on here the last few days ?

  • Anon

    No, I familar enough to read what you meant the first time, later clarified:

    If the rules were changed so that NI taxpayers were to foot the bill in a regressive manner, but any parades applied for would accepted within reason (regardless of resident vocal opposition – they could of course host their own counter parades).

    You can’t complain about respecting residents rights having made this statement – you’ve basically dismissed them.

    Now I’m paying for a parade we are obliged to accept, and a counter parade we are obliged to accept. People may “become” unpopular but the majority of the costs of the results of their actions have fallen on tax payers that have nothing to do with them. This is generally true: I’m paying for those parades and riots anyway. And so are the English. But raise my taxes and I might dislike them more than ever, but next year their incentive is still there for them to pass the cost onto me. The libertarian solution is the one that passes the costs to the members of the groups involved and not me. Which could effectively ban it due to cost. People would have to simply suggest action to push policing requirements and cost up. They wouldn’t even need to turn out.

    Feeling one way or another on the issue is different from actually going out and joining in. The majority might get pissed off at them, but what? They stop the parades? They force them through? Refuse to police them? It amounts to an assault on minority rights in the end. Perhaps you are thinking peer pressure. It won’t work. I’d march on principle.

    If you are saying that this is incorrect, and you are applying a test for “reasonable”, you haven’t moved for we are now. Residents say unreasonable, OO says reasonable. There is an arbiter. Okay, you might say liberalise the number of parades and pass on cost. But that still means the same fundamental structures we have now in place are needed. You’ve just changed the test. Now we have the worst of both.

  • Mack

    I haven’t dismissed residents rights. I said you have a law that encompasses the rights of everyone – residents, marchers, traders, road users etc. If you meet the conditions determined by the law, then you get your march -regardless of what residents want at that point. Otherwise you are allowing the residents to assert their liberties over the rest of the stakeholders.

    I agree the most libertarian solution would involve those who incurred the expense of any policing – funding that cost themselves. That would include any rioters, and potentially residents groups and marchers. I’m not sure how feasible that would be in the real world..

  • Anon

    Right. Exactly how do you plan framing this law? We have generalised law now. Any parade has to go to the Parades Commission AFAIK, not just OO marches. Perhaps you want to get judges involved in determining this? Laws are subject to challenge and interpretation after all. Great, we can stick the poison in another branch as well.

    Your proposed law is not really any more libertarian. It is simply moving who incurs the cost. It marginally increases the incentives on the parade members but mostly hits everyone else here. The result will be an incentive for a majority to censor a minority in one fashion or another. Not one of your better thought out proposals.

  • Mack

    I didn’t say framing such a law was easy, but are you saying it is impossible? Is 3,000 parades by one group of organisations excessive? Should a law take account of that? Equally, is one small token parade a year down a road for 20 mins or so,with no fuss, and in a less hostile general environment, too much to ask? My point is with carefully molded rules you might get a very different environment. If you had less parades, less triumphalism (because triumphalism would be punished) might some of those contentious marches be less contentious?

    Starting from the observation that there are loyalist marches through nationalist areas, but not so many the other way around. Is there a reason why that is? It looks to me that the rights of one group were preferred over the rights of others in the past. And the old ‘traditional route’ argument, was one of simply insisting that relationship of dominance persist.

    If you empower people one way or the other, to punish obstinance (either financially / and/ or via equivalent parades / objections), it might begin to fade away. There is little price for obstinance today. And any many cases it’s difficult to determine who is being obstinant, as both parties seem to firmly belief they are right. I see little Christain spirit either (do onto others etc.) but then someone else is picking up the pieces & the tab…

  • lamhdearg

    chris some good points in your post, however”not least the disgraceful parade organised to pay tribute to a UVF man along the route in which he killed a local catholic man- ” Is this a deliberate lie? the brian robinson parade does not leave the shankill. also people walking from legoniel to ardoyne why not, If AR and his ilk would just leave the non irish nationlist marchers alone maybe this could happen, Although if you read AR’s post you will find he is not so keen, Maybe peace is not on the G.A.R.C. radar.

  • Charminator

    Thanks Charminator.

    “Although now that you raise it I dont understand how an Orange Parade is acceptable to the natinalist citisens of Donegall every year but isnt acceptable to the same (I am told) Irish citisens in Belfast or Portadown?”

    Actually, if properly conducted and controlled, I personally don’t have a problem with an Orange parade at all. It’s clearly a tradition amongst a segment of the population of Ireland and should be fully respected. Like all rights, few, if any, are absolute and it must also always be balanced against other rights, but in principle, I have no difficulty with it.

    However, you might be surprised by the number of members of the CoI, at least, however, which are not at all supportive of some of the Orange Order’s positions in recent years (particularly in the south). Of course, such criticism from within the Protestant intelligentsia is not new: Carson himself was known to be no great fan of Orangeism.

    “Also as for the “Orange State” comment what is you have been saying about using the offensive language of the past on here the last few days ?”

    I’m referring to the North from 1921 – 1972 – I could have instead directly quoted Craigavon and described it as a “Protestant Parliament for a Protestant People”, a characterisation which his successor Capt. O’Neill acknowledged as appropriate in Stormont’s earlier years.

    But it may have been more appropriate to acknowledges the ‘excesses’ of the 1921 – 1972 statelet too, might it not John East Belfast? After all, it ended in ignominy when the British Govt prorogued it.

    In any case, I’ve been referring to the obviously archaic language of confrontation you persistently use. The references to ‘surrendering’, to ‘abandonment’, to 300,000 Unionists dashing across the Irish Sea should unity ever occur etc. I find that, not merely offensive, but unnecessarily combative and frankly, out of tune, with sentiment in both of the island’s major traditions – particularly at a time when Republicanism, as an all-island movement, exemplified from the President down, is earnestly searching to share a deeper understanding with Unionism.

  • Let’s have a bit of honesty here Lamh Dearg….

    The blood & thunder Shankill Star Band openly commemorate UVF murderer, Brian Robinson – FACT!

    As such, their inclusion in the Apprentice Boys feeder parade through Ardoyne past the very spot where his victim was indeed killed is rightly seen as a gross insult to the people of Ardoyne!

    Would be a bit like, the RAF holding a parade in Dresden, Germany to commemorate the murderous actions of Bomber Harris!

  • Alan Maskey

    “:Carson himself was known to be no great fan of Orangeism”

    Carson’s July 12, 1920 speech was the spark that set off the 1920 pogroms. It beggars belief that these ruffians insist on commemorating a UVF gunman, and march past the spot where he killed a local. Pissing on the grave.

    As regards the Orangemen marching in Donegal: of course it is an affront. And the Anglican Church: Drumcree anyone?

    AR: Peace loving people the world over admire your forebearance. God knows, your area has paid its dues.

  • lamhdearg

    Lets have a bit of honesty here A R, you and the rest of the GARC are acting as proxies for the R.I.R.A and the REAL points of your protest to embarrise S/F, Blood young nationlists and put them under your control, Beat and try to kill the police, And restart the troubles, I for one hope this grand dissident plan fails, like it or not very few people want the good old days back.

  • Charminator

    Thanks Alan Maskey.

    If I recall correctly, Carson, on more than one occasion, criticised the Orangeist culture, viewing it as a little archaic (even in his own day). Without doubt, he was certainly of a very different hue than Craig on this point.

    I’m reluctant to engage on the particularly explosive nature of Irish politics at that time (and I recognise Carson himself was also a member of the Orange Lodge from a young age).

    However, we also know Carson was opposed to religious intolerance (indeed warned the fledging Stormont statelet about it) and was perhaps far more multi-dimensional than Craig. I’m not sure we can sustain the characterisation of a figure of such complexity and intellect as a naked bigot, as easily as we could uphold such a charge against Brookeborough.

  • Lamh Dearg, going by your selective logic….

    GARC are a proxy for the RIRA? Where is the evidence? I can assure everyone I nor GARC are a proxy for anyone, especially an armed group……We are residents – Fact!

    PSF are of no concern to me whatsoever, we aren’t involved in politics rather GARC are only interested in the local community!

    If any group wants to harp back to the bad old days, its the Loyal Orders who totally insist on marching where they are not welcome. This is what increases intra-community tensions, fears and strife and opens the vaccum for armed groups to exploit!

  • Surely the Ardoyne is a mixed area, yes? The actual parade (whats left of it) is there and gone in the blink of an eye.

    Im all in favour of peaceful protest, but I think people should be careful they dont protest for protests sake, another riot like the last would be a disaster for those who like to think of themselves as victims.

  • Brian MacAodh

    I thought it was Craig who made the speech that set off the pogroms?

  • John East Belfast

    Charminator

    “I’m referring to the North from 1921 – 1972 – I could have instead directly quoted Craigavon and described it as a “Protestant Parliament for a Protestant People”, a characterisation which his successor Capt. O’Neill acknowledged as appropriate in Stormont’s earlier years”

    I could of course state that he said that after De Valera referred to his “Catholic Constitution for a Catholic Nation”.
    Not everything was right in NI post 1921 but I can pick equal holes in the 26 county state over the same period.

    “I’ve been referring to the obviously archaic language of confrontation you persistently use.”

    That is a matter of your opinion of course but may I say on reading your posts I draw the conclusion that in addition to you selectively reading only what you choose to you have some personally arrived at opinions and any deviation therefrom by others irks you and you start making it personal.

    As for you wanting to understand the unionist position I see no evidence of it and instead you patronisely portray it as some kind of error that can be corrected through Unionists accepting really seeing the world via your green tinted glasses.

  • Hewhopaysthepiper

    Why not use the same system that is used for soccer matches in england? The organisers have to foot the bill for policing. Let’s see if the OO would be so keen to march their traditional routes if they had to pay for policing of them.

    See you all in the bankruptcy court.

  • Down South

    If there is so much stock put on creating a deal that is acceptable then why are we looking for like for like. Nationalist communities and organisations have little interest in parading and don;t hold it in the same esteem as the Unionist Communities so any attempt to compare the two is a bit stupid – a bit like the Ulster Scots – Irish Language debate – Like for like just doesn’t make any sense. Therefore the obvious idea is to seek a compromise on something the Nationalist “community” hold dear and have it accepted as a legitimate form of cultural expression in return for an end to contention from Nationalist communities towards PUL parades. What that compromise is can only be worked out with the protesting community – not with society as a whole for the vast majority of communities have no difficulty with PUL parading – it is a legitimate expression of culture.

    What is current in Ardoyne that could be resolved or what would could the PUL be able to offer as a gesture of goodwill towards a nationalist recognition of their right to peacefully express their culture? It has to be more than community development money – could the PUL community donate a theatre or bursary for a young person to get training or help with a building for cultural expression – something that would be a game changer in perceptions of their intent? This would be way preferable to a “just go away” solution which perpetuates this very local conflict. I’d propose the same for the other communities where there are contentious parades – local solutions for local problems.

  • lamhdearg

    its getting late and i am tired so please excuse me if i sound facetious, But a theatre please lovey.

  • Alan Maskey

    http://en.wikiquote.org/wiki/Edward_Carson,_Baron_Carson

    You will get a snippet of Carson’s July 12th 1920 speech here. I am sure it is available in its entirety elsewhere. Paisley and others copied this template. Other made equally inflammatory speeches: threatening to kill priests if they did not keep their flock in line. Though many can share the blame for the 1920 pogroms – and Carson and his ilk blame it on the lethargic Belfast IRA – Carson is the main culprit. An odious man, forged no doubt like Kipling in the furnace of hate and supremacism we know as the British Empire.

  • Anon

    I think if framing such a law was easy, they’d have done it by now. The financial incentive you have suggested does not work. I’m not sure what would.

  • Hard hat

    Speaking of selectivity, have you managed to come up with an explanation yet as to how you managed to exclude all the Protestant residents of Ardoyne from that totally independent survey GARC commissioned?

  • Hard hat

    Any views on the Independent Hunger Strike Commemoration Parade across the bottom of the Shankill and Browns Square earlier this year?

  • Charminator

    Thanks John East Belfast.

    But, oh dear, it looks like your muddling your history. I can see that you clearly didn’t take much interest when you learned about the history of your neighbours in the south, post-partition, or did you even learn of their existence….

    If you had, you would immediately know that Craigavon’s speech is NOT a response to anything de Valera said. De Valera’s Constitution had not even been drafted at the time of Craigavon’s ramblings. So despite Craigavon’s vague references to a Catholic State, it certainly wasn’t de Valera and frankly, I’d be surprised if Cosgrave said the likes either.

    You then, somewhat cryptically suggest that what I’m doing is nit-picking, as though, on balance, the Stormont State was a satisfactory state-of-affairs, but for a few ‘holes’, suggesting:

    “Not everything was right in NI post 1921 but I can pick equal holes in the 26 county state over the same period.”

    It is common knowledge that Stormont misrule was a disastrous failure. It has been recognised as such by your own British Govt, who prorogued it for good reason. Capt. O’Neill, one of its prime ministers, recognised as much too. It is not that there were merely ‘holes’ in it, it’s that as a matter of historical fact, it practiced discrimination across the board from public jobs to housing, to one of the most sacrosanct civic-political rights of all, voting. It failed to promote any reconciliation with Catholics in the North, something history may well judge as a key reason for its failure, despite the warnings of Carson at its outset, and O’Neill towards its end (and of course, more recently, Trimble too). The South was nothing like this. That is not to say it was perfect, most certainly not, as we all know. But to suggest that both had failings and one apple was as bad as the other is insulting and just not supported by historical fact.

    You have also suggested that my reference to your archaic language of confrontation is opinion-based. But how else is one to interpret the language of ‘surrender’ and ‘abandonment’; of providing a spectre of 300,000 Unionists taking to the Irish Sea should Irish unity ever occur, whilst at the same time seeking to devalue Northern citizens right to be Irish, as though it carried a secondary package of rights with little real meaning; of describing the southern State as nothing but a failure save for a period of immense economic success, otherwise sandwiched by utter deprivation, ignoring huge achievements in diplomacy, culture, education, economic diversity and international recognition. It is certainly not a positive narrative.

    You also suggest I’m some sort of closed-minded individual, who is incapable of understanding Unionism through anything but ‘green-tinted glasses’. Fine, but I note you paid no attention to my earlier comments regarding Orange marches, where I said:

    “Actually, if properly conducted and controlled, I personally don’t have a problem with an Orange parade at all. It’s clearly a tradition amongst a segment of the population of Ireland and should be fully respected.”

    Nor, did you pay much attention to my comment that your vista of 300,000 Unionists going to Britain was an utterly sad spectacle. Nor did you pay much attention to my discussion of the political Establishment, from the President down, seeking to reach a deeper understanding of some key Unionist narratives, a process I very much agree with (such as Ireland’s contribution, North and South, in WW1).

    Indeed, surprisingly for someone who, like me, should also be searching for common ground, you seem far, far more comfortable highlighting and discussing what divides, rather than what unites.

    I think you’ll find that modern Ireland has pretty clear lenses. We’re successfully integrating the ‘New Irish’, our political parties are actively seeking to better understand Unionism, and there’s a very upbeat perspective on what the future of the island, the future of those of a British identity on our island, and the future of London-Dublin relations can hold. More generally, Irish society is now pluralist, multi-cultural, very much secular and liberal. We have little difficult with sports on Sundays or homosexual rights. We do not believe gays should be ‘cured’, as strands (and particularly influential strands too) of Unionist opinion in the North seems to think (CoI exempted).

    I feel very confident about Ireland’s capacity to accommodate modern Unionism: I think our President, our recent Taoisigh, and broadly speaking, our body politic have invested huge effort in this process. So, yes, when a person rhymes off imagery of ‘abandonment’ and ‘surrender’ and boats cast off with backs against Ireland, it does ‘irk’ me. And it’s certainly nothing personal. It’s a sad reflection of a gulf that some appear all too keen to avoid bridging.

    There’s a discourse which I think is forward-looking and motivated by a positive spirit of reconciliation and there’s a discourse which harkens back to division and old familiar historical narratives. I have little doubt in saying that, from your lexicon, it could only appear to any reasonable-minded person, that you feel far more comfortable with the latter.

  • Alias

    Very good. Now all you have to do is convince one million British people that they should forfeit their national rights and duly vote themselves out of a state that is dedicated to protecting and promoting those national rights. Good luck with that. Just because the catholic tribe is NI gave up its former national rights as members of the Irish nation in return for self-serving concessions within the British state is no valid basis to think that the British nation in NI will follow their dismal example and likewise become a non-sovereign nation within a foreign state in return for, or response to, all the lovely happenings and stuff you listed.

  • Charminator

    Thanks Alias.

    You say:
    “Just because the catholic tribe is NI gave up its former national rights as members of the Irish nation in return for self-serving concessions within the British state.”

    Perhaps you should reacquaint yourself with how partition was brought about. The people of Tyrone or Fermanagh certainly didn’t voluntarily opt for it for any concessions. Indeed the 26 counties’ independence was achieved, despite a very active policy of ‘killing Home Rule with kindness’.

    But the merit of the GFA’s arrangements is that we can both press our convictions, seek to persuade a majority, always ensuring that we can provide safeguards that both identities will be fully respected, not ‘forfeiting national rights’ as you describe it.

    Perhaps, as you suggest, it’s a futile venture. I don’t know. But that’s mere speculation at this point. And remember it’s a majority that’s required under the GFA, not some grand super-majority.

  • Alias

    You could have ‘pressed your convictions’ without the GFA. Those convictions were that the Irish nation within what is now a fully legitimised part of the United Kingdom had a right to be a sovereign nation that was denied to them by the Unionist Veto. After the GFA, you now have no convictions to press
    since you have constitutionally declared that you have no right to self-determination and no right to be a sovereign nation. All that you did via the “GFA’s arrangements” is consolidate partition.

    However, it is only the Irish nation within that part of the United Kingdom that has renounced its national rights. The British nation within that part of the United Kingdom has not done so, and nor has the Irish nation in Ireland. The first Article of Bunreacht na hÉireann continues to declare that no other nation has a right of veto over the right of the Irish nation to self-determination: “The Irish nation hereby affirms its inalienable, indefeasible, and sovereign right to choose its own form of Government, to determine its relations with other nations, and to develop its life, political, economic and cultural, in accordance with its own genius and traditions.” That rules out extending the British veto from where it is now legitimised to where it is illegitimate and has no relevance.

    It’s great that you have signed up to be subject to the veto of a foreign nation, and I wish you all the best with it.

  • Alias

    “And remember it’s a majority that’s required under the GFA, not some grand super-majority.”

    In reality, it won’t matter. It will come back to the basic premise that nations have the “inalienable, indefeasible, and sovereign right” to determine their own affairs.If the majority of British people within that part of the United Kingdom wish to retain their national rights to determine their own affairs within a British state then that is a large enough concentration of people to merit a right to self-determination. The ‘self’ in self-determination refers to the nation, and not to any other nation. So just as it is wrong for the Irish nation to be subject to the veto of the British nation such that it cannot “develop its life, political, economic and cultural, in accordance with its own genius and traditions” it is equally wrong for the British nation to be subject to the veto of the Irish nation. The only way that the two nations could exercise their respective right to self-determination is for each nation to have a state dedicated to that purpose. So if the Irish nation were ever to prefer national rights to equal civil rights within a British state (unlikely) then repartition would incorporate them into the Irish state – subject, of course, to the will of Irish people.

  • Down South

    Ok then a quad bike track or urban paint balling, trad music centre like a comhaltas – it wouldn’t really matter what it is as long as it is wanted and valued. I thought all you republicans valued your cultural expression – not as if there are no drama queens in West Belfast!

  • Millbag

    Chris’s analogy of a reciprocal parade between Legoniel and Ardoyne is fairly sound. Not because republicans would even seriously propose such a parade, but because a parade of this nature – Catholic/nationalist/republican passing through/by a loyalist area – wouldn’t be tolerated for a mini-second. However, for the sake of being mischievous, I agree they should at least push for this proposal, even just to see what thrift it would get.

    In truth though such a proposal wouldn’t be taken seriously by republicans, never mind loyalists. I remember an Ardoyne youth summing up this very scenario a few years back: “Can you imagine if we wanted to march past their area? We’d be shot”.

    Quite.

  • Alan Maskey

    Meanwhile: No Orange fee. Can our Unionist friends see the point of Ard Eoin Rep? Can they also see that this particular march and some of its participants are particularly objectionable? No do they agree with Ard Eoin (Ardoyne) but that they see his point?
    Can they also see that he does speak for at least some of the locals? And that RIRA/CIRA heads would be better off not going to such protests as it would put them on security forces’ radars?

  • Neil

    No Alan, here’s why: Firstly any association of the OO with Paramilitary Loyalist bands is totally wrong and should not be tolerated – however that is the exception and not the rule. JEB.

    So there you go, we cannot discuss the contentious parades because they’ve been sidestepped as the exception rather than the rule. The vast majority of parades occur in largely Loyalist areas in front of Loyalist people and it’s just a good ole fashioned Christian knees up with lots of beer, public urination and teenage sex.

    The other parades (the ones Nationalists and Republicans give a fuck about) don’t matter, they’re the exception, ergo all Nationalist protestors (not rioters I’m talking about here but protestors) are opportunistic sectarian minded thugs, while the Orange parades are all non sectarian, Christian and cultured.

  • Charminator

    Thanks Alias.

    You comment:

    “After the GFA, you now have no convictions to press
    since you have constitutionally declared that you have no right to self-determination and no right to be a sovereign nation. All that you did via the “GFA’s arrangements” is consolidate partition.”

    That’s utter rubbish. It’s also a rather arrogant position to take: determining what convictions others do and do not have to press. Articles 2 and 3 may redefine unity, but be under no illusions, the constitutional imperative to achieve it, remains the same under the Constitution. The self-determination of the Irish People is still recognised: what is also recognised – thanks to a maturity of understanding in Ireland’s relationship with Unionism – is the presence of a significant minority on the island of Ireland whose identity and aspirations must also be acknowledged. It is right and proper that this was done. Your argument bears some similarity to the position of McGimpsey re the Anglo-Irish Agreement where he claimed that agreement somehow also prejudiced Ireland’s continuing constitutional imperative to unity: it didn’t and successive attorneys-general have determined neither does the GFA.

    There has been absolutely no renunciation of rights regarding unity from the Irish perspective: indeed the Constitution of Ireland makes it abundantly clear that it is the ‘firm will’ of the Irish nation to secure the unity of all the peoples of the territory of the island of Ireland.

    Finally, the GFA is sufficiently clear that any Border poll on the North’s future permits of only two options: Irish unity or the maintenance of the present Union with Britain. It does not permit of other novel suggestions, such as, repartition (as you seem to raise) or ‘NI’ independence. I emphasised before the importance of appreciating that what was required to deliver Irish unity was ‘a majority’: not ‘the majority’, not a super majority, not 55%, but ‘a majority’ (as expressed in the poll). Novel notions such as parallel consent or a super majority bear no connection to the GFA. Neither does repartition – Britain’s interest has been in the wishes of the people of ‘NI’, not the wishes of the people of North Antrim. Any modification of that position – as provided in the GFA – would require the Irish Govt’s consent, something I consider exceptionally unlikely, especially as the matter is only most likely to raise it’s head, when the possibility of actual unity is imminent.

    So, as noted, an Irish Govt (remember this is an international treaty), would be extremely unlikely to ever into arrangements which would provide for such alternatives, if only because such actions could be in conflict with the constitutional imperative to achieve unity by permitting options which lessened the prospect of it happening.

    I also disagree entirely with your references to ‘British nation’. I am unaware of any conventions or provisions of the British Constitutional scheme which acknowledges anything of the sort (particularly to the extent of including the Unionist community in ‘NI’). As you will be aware Britain’s continuing interest in ‘NI’ is limited only to giving effect to the preference of the majority of the people of ‘NI’. The British Govt have now reduced their interest in ‘NI’ to the bare minimum, a position which no British Govt has moved to do in relation to Scotland, where the Union is passionately defended by the British Govt (rather than any party politcking).

  • Hard hat

    “because a parade of this nature – Catholic/nationalist/republican passing through/by a loyalist area – wouldn’t be tolerated for a mini-second”. And what is it that puts you in the position to make such an unqualified statement about how people you don’t know will answer to a question they have never been asked? Frankly if the context of the proposal was “our parade will be regulated by the same requirements applied for your parades, and if you don’t oppose ours, we won’t oppose yours” (aka a level playing field), I’m not so sure what the outcome would be. Of course if 99% of unionist communities accepted, but their unelected equivalent of ArdEoin Republican turned up and invited the masses in from outside the area to protest, that would be grounds to ban the parade wouldn’t it?

  • John East Belfast

    I”f you had, you would immediately know that Craigavon’s speech is NOT a response to anything de Valera said. De Valera’s Constitution had not even been drafted at the time of Craigavon’s ramblings. So despite Craigavon’s vague references to a Catholic State, it certainly wasn’t de Valera and frankly, I’d be surprised if Cosgrave said the likes either”

    The first time anything like this was said by Craigavon was in a Stormont debate in April 1934 when he said

    “The hon. Member must remember that in the South they boasted of a Catholic State. They still boast of Southern Ireland being a Catholic State. All I boast of is that we are a Protestant Parliament and a Protestant State”

    De Valera’s infamous constitution followed a couple of years later where the “special place” of the Catholic Church was enshrined.

    The point I am making is that the PP bit cant be seen in isolation to the Catholic State bit – Craigavon didnt bring it out of the blue and that 1934 Stormont debate has to be seen in context as well

    As I have said before on Slugger NI 1921 to 1972 did not exist in a vaccum. The ROI was no pluralist and unionist welcoming paradise and to think otherwise is sheer delusion.
    Most northern unionists know someone who’s parents or grand parents suffered some kind of discrimination in Eire post 1921 and indeed the descendants of some often post on Slugger.

    I am not denying the excesses of Stormont but I do believe they are exaggerated and I also dont believe they occurred in a vacuum due to what was going on with our next door neighbour and our mututally fractious relationship with them.

    I only pointed this out to you as we have two totally different starting points but you want us to travel a road together by me coming to yours first.

    We will just have to agree to disagree on it

  • Notice that Hard Hat & Lamh Dearg are good asking questions but never seem to answer any…….

    Methinks they both suffer from that 1690 feeling?

  • lamhdearg

    A R did you not wright this on another post, Did you not think i would see it there, Ask me a question and i will try to answer but please make it a question that can be answered and not a made up speel disigned of fool some of those people who dont fully know the background of the problem of which we speak.

  • Of course I knew you’d read it….

    My question concerns why the need to use a band who openly commemorate Robinson?

    Could the ABOD not have used an ordinary band or none at all?

    The other question is; Why the need to march through Ardoyne to board a bus @ the Orange Hall in the Shankill?

    Why not just board the bus @ the Ballysillian Orange Hall?

  • lamhdearg

    A R thats four questions not one, the band i dont know maybe its to get up the nose’s of the people who lob bricks at them, maybe they come cheap,I DO NOT KNOW. As for none at all without a band it just would not be the same like st pats day in dublin without the music,
    Q3 they do not march through ardoyne they skirt around it as best they can.
    Q4 they dont board at LEGONIEL orange hall so that the people of the area who like and want to see and hear them can.
    Please now answer this why wont the garc let this 2 min silent parade pass in peace.

  • Hard hat

    What sort of feeling did Ardeoin Republican have when he figured out how to exclude the entire Unionist population of Ardoyne (which we suspect included Glengormley, Newry, Lurgan, Ballymena and Donegall Road) from his totally, totally independent survey?

  • Lamh Dearg, I appreciate your honesty concerning the SS band but I put to you that their inclusion is to get up residents noses alright……

    People in Ardoyne do not view their community as the Shop Fronts……They view the Crumlin Road as part and parcel of that community, the same as M/View and the Dales….

    If the ABOD want people to see and hear them then let the Boys and Band/s board their buses at the junction of the Crumlin and Ballysillian Roads…..

    At least it would recognise that there has been huge demographic changes in recent years and not everyone who live there want to see and hear them?

    The answer to your question is that;

    As the situation now stands, GARC will not ‘allow’ any Loyal Order parades through Ardoyne because we have proposed an alternative route…..Simple really, there’s no secret about that in spite of what anyone else says……

    GARC are acting on behalf of a large section of greater Ardoyne residents who do not want these parades anymore.

  • Hard Hat, the feelings and opinions of everyone who returned their survey forms were very clear….

    Over 90% wanted Loyal Orders to take an alternative route as proposed by GARC…..

    As for excluding the entire Unionist population, as you claim. Does these Loyal Orders who insist on marching through Ardoyne, not exclude the entire Catholic/Nationalist and Republican community from membership, likewise their bands?

  • Congal Claen

    Quite often you will hear Republicans enthuse about how their flag embraces the orange and the green. How come in reality rather than embrace the Orange tradition it is derided at every opportunity? We’ve quite a way to go to get to toleration, never mind embrace.

  • Neil

    How come in reality rather than embrace the Orange tradition it is derided at every opportunity?

    You can’t see any reason for that, given the presence of a band commemorating the murder of members of the community that’s protesting? Bullshit.

    You can’t understand that if say, for the sake of example, someone murdered your sibling, then a band showed up with a banner commemorating the person who murdered your sibling that your opinions might be somewhat affected towards the marchers? Cause I’d fucking hate them with everything I had. I suspect so would anyone.

    Most Republicans (myself included) couldn’t give a monkey’s toss about parades in Broughshane, Cullybackey etc. where largely Loyalist poulations turn out to see largely Christian auld lads having a march about. Most Republicans care only about the largely Belfast parades commemorating murderers which occasionally, as in this instance, march through areas they know they aren’t wanted solely for the purposes of antagonising the locals.

    Lamhdeargh says they march through Ardoyne so the locals can come out and get to see them, but then there are few in Ardoyne who do want to see them, so why not march through a Loyalist area, get on your bus and head off to Derry? Then those who do want to see them can make their way to the area where the marchers won’t piss anyone off and everyone can have a great time.

    But that idea would be rejected out of hand, why would the OO want to not annoy themmuns? Much in the same way that the OO parade through mainly Nationalist towns where they are equally unwanted, and in other areas as linked to above (such as Dunloy) where they march from a lodge, through a mainly Catholic area to catch a bus at a ditch at the side of the road. Why? To wind up the locals.

    If the OO only wants to entertain those people who are interested, and is not overtly concerned with winding up Nationalists, explain why the following is the case, taken from CAIN:

    Bellaghy is a small village in South Derry with a 97 per cent Nationalist population. In August of each year tensions build up as the Apprentice Boys from neighbouring towns ‘walk’ through the village on their return from the main Derry Apprentice Boys annual parade on the Saturday nearest 12 August

    Why I wonder would this lodge travel to a Nationalist town and march through it when they are clearly totally unwanted, not from the town and not coming from or going to any lodge in the area? Winding up them fenians maybe? Nah couldn’t be, the OO only wants to entertain the folks who are interested and not force themselves through areas where they are universally unwanted. LOL. Total bollocks.

  • Neil
  • Alan Maskey

    The Irish tricolour was hoisted at the GPO in 1916. It was inspired by the French Revolution.The 1916 Proclamation was naiive, to say the least, about the Orange sundered brethern. But it was also naiive about the Green part.
    James Joyce has great crack about this in Ulysses. Personally, I would prefer the Starry Plough or the Fenian flag.

    I have just bought two plain design doormats on ebay. Many of the doormats have a Union Jack design and are obviously sold in Britain What do our Orange friends think of that? Besides the fact that I don’t want a Union Jack doormat, I could see why someone would give me a punch on the face if I was wiping my shoes on same. .

  • Congal Claen

    Hi Neil,

    I agree that Brian Robinson should not be remembered in such a way. Well, maybe remembered, but not honoured. I can remember the Belfast Telegraph had at least 3 columns of tributes to him in the death notices. For the victim, either none or at most very few. To my shame I do not remember his name. I reckon most OO supporters on here would also agree with you and that they also disagree with honouring terrorists. I also reckon most OO supporters are against bands having abbreviations that could be interpreted as support for terrorist organisations or any other linkage.

    Would you also agree with the GAA removing such links to terrorism? Genuine question there.

    Should the OO/loyalist bands remove such linkage would it be OK for the Ardoyne march to go ahead? Because, I think you’ll find that most unionists think it is nitpicking for an excuse. They remember Enniskillen. They also remember Tullyhommon on the same day as Enniskillen. That was the BB remembering Armistice day. No links to terrorism. No party tunes. No coat trailing. Yet republicans thought it a good idea to wipe out teenage boys remembering the war dead.

    BTW, do you think Republicans should embrace their Orange neighbours a la my question regarding the flag?

  • HeinzGuderian

    Well said sir !! 🙂

  • Congal Claen, for a long long time the OO etc have (and some continue to) happily paraded with the very bands you are criticising. Whatever about the 95% marches that no-one really has a problem with – the fact that Orders never kept clear daylight between overt loyalist bands and the wider Orange parading tradition has left it tainted in a way that some of the posters on here just can’t bring themselves to confront. If the Orders walked with bands carrying banners with UVF and UFF logos in the past (and remember some still do) – why should communities that the UVF and UFF targeted tolerate the Orders? You’ve tried to introduce Enniskillen and Tullyhommon into this as if objecting to an OO parade is the equivalent of supporting those two attacks? Have you really thought that through?? Seriously – in your reasoning supporting bombing Enniskillen is similar to opposing Order parades yet the latter have and some continue to happily flaunt loyalist bands and regalia. I think you’re going to find an awful lot of people disgusted by that sort of reasoning (intentionally or not).
    I’ll offer two suggestions to people here. The first is to check out the historic maps on the OSNI website (www.osni.gov.uk/mapstore.htm) and see where the Ardoyne Electoral Ward extends to (since no-one seems to want to provide a geographic definition, mostly Ardoyne seems to be a state of mind). As far as I know, it’s the only formal designation of Ardoyne. A lot of you won’t be happy with it but at least provide some reason for changing the boundaries to what you prefer.
    Secondly, is it possible that the issue of the Ardoyne parade can be kept to (a) the community and (b) the walkers and band? It’s not some magical line in the sand that no-one from either side can cross. The wider issue of Order parades is irrelevant here – by far the vast majority don’t impact on anyone. If people supporting the Orders somehow think that its an erosion of their right to walk full stop, I’ve bad news for them – if that parade is supposed to be an example then you aren’t making any case at all for the Orders to be considered as anything other than a public nuisance.

  • Neil

    Would you also agree with the GAA removing such links to terrorism? Genuine question there.

    Yes I reckon so. Times have changed and the GAA should be among the groups to recognise that.

    BTW, do you think Republicans should embrace their Orange neighbours a la my question regarding the flag?

    Again, yes. It would be of real interest to me to see an Orange & Green parade, where one band is Orange followed by one Green and so on. And I can’t defend the killing of any child, even if it resulted in a UI tomorrow. It’s not worth it.

    IMO the argument on the OO becomes difficult for a number of reasons. The broad brush approach doesn’t work, one lodge behaves differently to another, so to some Nationalists the OO means sectarianism, alcohol and disorder, while to some Unionists the first thing that comes to mind is tea and biscuits in the field and Christian values.

  • Neil

    the fact that Orders never kept clear daylight between overt loyalist bands and the wider Orange parading tradition has left it tainted in a way that some of the posters on here just can’t bring themselves to confront.

    This is what I was struggling to say with the broad brush thing, only put better. The OO could kill off all controversy and take the moral high ground by dealing with the few remaining contentious parades. Then the 12th would occur in places which universally accept and want it.

  • HeinzGuderian

    So the Orange Third of your flag is,’total bollocks’,…………..thought so !! 🙂

  • Peter Fyfe

    How do you enjoy music on this silent parade?

  • Peter Fyfe

    The GAA should try and make its identity more acceptable, but I am also waiting for the day Kevin Lynch’s applies to march through Garvagh.

  • lamhdearg

    A R I see you now claim the crumlin road right up to where it meets the ballysillan, And that the garc will not allow any loyal order parades to pass ardoyne, Your getting a little big for those boots, I notice one thing your no longer claiming to represent the vast majority of ardoyne residents and are now” acting on behalf of a large section” As for your proposed alternative route as i explained in a past post “One of the problems with the GARC suggested route is the crossing from glencarin to ballysillan(ironically known locally as harmony) . It is a 200 meter muck path about 8 to 10 foot wide encompassing a old stone bridge 6ft wide with a sign on it that reads “danger cross a own risk). If however nationlists would withdraw their objections to homes being built on the old somerdale school site a through road from somerdale park to ballygomartin road (folks without local knowledge see google maps)could provide a route that would avoid the ardoyne shops, The
    GARC map/alterative route is at best disingenuous not only do they have the starting point wrong (the parade does not come up the shankill but cuts through from the crumlin road to the woodvale) again see google maps, But it seems to be deliberately trying to make it look as if the controversial part of the route is longer then it is in reality, They the GARC would have the people in the parade take an almost two mile detor up some of the steepest paved roads in ulster through bog and meadow(exaggeration) instead of the two hundred or so yards between the woodvale road twaddell junction and somerdale park(Goggle maps) (These two hundred yards they see as their turf) As pointed out by “Fair-deal 20th july 10.01am the people of ballysillan used to parade with their lodges and bands 20 times a year its now 6 times the route has been changed from straight up/down the crumlin road to its now route to shorten the distance it past nationlist homes what part of compromise do the ardoyne residents not get, i don’t point this last question to the GARC as they do not do compromise. PLEASE SEE ARDOYNE REPUBLICANS STATEMENT ON “At the end of the day there has to be a realisation from republicans that they don’t own the road” WHERE HES STATES ” There cannot be any compromise, residents in the Greater Ardoyne area have spoken”

    May i point out that my exaggeration claim applies only to the word meadow.

    A R these posts i have submitted again not for your reading as i am sure you read them already but for those people who have not thats if there is anybody still following this post, it is boring me and i am passionate about the subject, Goodbye old chap.

  • lamhdearg

    Ohh A R see you next sat.

  • L D, the only using their ‘big boots’ on the Crumlin Rd are the Loyal Orders, Bands and of course the Peelers….

    Garc’s proposal is to include the vast amount of money used by the RUC/PSNI to ‘Police’ contentious parades through Ardoyne could well be spent upgrading the laneway/Harmony.

    Then those marchers could parade everyday where they are welcome, simple really?

    Your entitled to your opinion about how disingenious our map is etc..However, it is a legitimate proposal to end what has become a troublesome every year!

    That’s correct, there cannot be any compromise where the Loyal Orders are concerned because they are the people who insist/apply and keep the pot boiling? Why don’t they end parades for a period of 12 months and meet local residents and see if we can all agree?

    As for next Saturday…..No decison has been made yet by the discredited Commission and as such, nothing is planned!

  • Hard hat

    John: the official Ardoyne (does that make anything else the provisional Ardoyne?) does not include the Crumlin Road as those in Ardoyne who have applied for funding for community projects at Mountainview or the old Holy Cross Boys School have discovered. But to be fair, whilst this is true on paper, it is generally understood that the community boundaries today extend further. Regardless, anything that relies on paper boundaries, headcounts or clever juggling of statistcs will not lead to a solution. And the “build a road to the next mountain” idea is one of the most dangerous ideas I have heard for some time.

  • Hard hat

    This might save the £23.50 for a map!! And you can just about see what I mean. http://www.boundarycommission.org.uk/pics/big_map_2.jpg

  • lamhdearg

    Peter the parade is only silent ( bar the beat of a single drum to keep pace for the walkers) from Hesketh road untill woodvale parade, between it start point of Legoniel orange hall and Hesketh road and again from woodvale parade the bands play wonderful music to the delight of the hundreds off GREATER ardoyne/ ballysillan and woodvale residents who line the route.

  • I should have actually linked the historic map viewer on the EHSNI website since it is free…
    http://maps.ehsni.gov.uk/SixInchSeries/Default.aspx

  • congal claen

    Hi John/Neil,

    Glad to see some considered replies. There is hope after all. With regard to me referring to Enniskillen John that was an attempt to show that for some it’s merely that the parades have a British element. It wouldn’t matter if those links were to terrorists or not just the fact of the British link. Some of the most vehement in their opposition would be those who were/are in the organisation that carried out Enniskillen.

    Neil, I totally agree. The problem, I believe, is that there isn’t much of a HQ leadership for the OO. It’s mainly locally done. So, you get individual lodges carrying out these stupid actions. However, that’s not an excuse. They should bin the terrorist links.

  • Carn Monaidh

    The band in question have the words “in Memory of Brian Robinson” painted on their bass drum for no other reason than he was a member of the band.
    The band carry this as a mark of respect to someone who tirelessly worked for the band, and not to upset people when passing Ardoyne. In fact the drum was put in a car last year when passing Ardoyne to avoid anyone being upset.
    The argument from republicans is that the band is a UVF band that carrys Brian Robinsons name as an act of support for the crimes he committed outside his membership of the band. Do the children who play in the Maread Farrell or Bobby Sands cup while representing their gaelic teams condone bombing, murder and suicide and are the players and committee of the Kevin Lynch club supporting the INLA or a former player?
    The fact is, the vast majority of this band werent even born when Brian Robinson was killed.
    By the way, they are one of the finest up and comming bands at the minute and were awarded 3rd prize out of 65 bands at a competition on Saturday night. Maybe the people, and especially republicans who try and play flutes and drums, should come out and enjoy their qualities and perhaps take note and learn.