Elliot and Kennedy facing Loyal Orders disciplinary proceedings

Danny Kennedy, the Minister for Regional Development and Tom Elliot the leader of the Ulster Unionist Party are to go before a Loyal Orders disciplinary hearing due to their attendance at the funeral of Constable Ronan Kerr.  

Few things to get clear first…

  1. I’m not a member of the Loyal Orders
  2. I support the Loyal Orders and would attend both the main 12th demonstration every year and also go to Scarva to see the Black Men on the 13th.
  3. I think this local decision is a mistake on a few levels.

The complaint alleges Mr Elliot and Mr Kennedy,

have sold their principles for political expediency

The gentlemen in question have not commented but a source close to the men said that they have

no regrets [in attending the funeral]

Ok firstly I think that these men were attending the funeral in an official capacity and also to reflect the outrage of our community at the murder.

Secondly if the Order wishes to survive and flourish it must be seen, not to be necessarily compromising its principals but as an organisation that is seeking to reflect the views, feelings and culture of, at least, the wider Unionist community and if these men are found guilty as charged it has indeed failed to do that. In fact I would build on that statement and suggest that the pageantry and spectacle of the 12th should be the aspects that are emphasised and any feeling / perception of triumphalism removed where possible. If the Order can move moderate Nationalists to being at least apathetic about the 12th rather than negative that would be a great step forward.

Thirdly the steps it has taken to become more of an Orangefest will be roundly undone if it indeed does discipline its own in this way.  The flagship events are a step forward allowing the tourists who come to see ‘The Twelfth’ a more user friendly experience with translators and guides on hand to help. This ‘disciplinary hearing’ is retrograde – big style!

Ronan Kerr died serving the community of Northern Ireland, in a mindless attack by dissident terrorists. We are all too aware of this, and previous terrorist campaigns, to ‘discourage’ Roman Catholics from joining the police. It is my distinct hope that this campaign fails miserably.

From my reading of numerous texts on the Loyal Orders it is indeed a bottom up organisation as whilst I’m sure most Lodges would not agree with LOL 821 in its move to discipline the above members – there is little that ‘Grand Lodge Central’ can do to prevent such a charge being levied. It can however dismiss the charge and this is very much my hope.

I hope fear that this thread will not simply be ‘Orange bashing’ but instead some considered commentary on the above.

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  • galloglaigh

    galloglaigh (profile) Your comment is awaiting moderation.

    What’s that all about?

  • Comrade Stalin


    I’ve had that moderation thing a few times. I think the blog software is spotting certain words considered controversial in one of your posts and is flagging it for approval.

    On the point about TV coverage .. well, the 12th coverage is nothing like it used to be. These days it is an hour or two on both channels in the evening. I seem to recall the coverage being substantially more than this in days past. Suffice to say that the TV stations are simply reflecting the demand.

    If I was at all interested in the twalf I’d have thought I’d make the effort to go out and see it and take in the atmosphere. Watching it on TV surely isn’t a prerequisite. I very much doubt that every single bandsman, order member, and 6-7x that number of spectators tune in to see it.

  • Rory Carr

    Viewers who complain about excessive coverage of the Twelfth July celebrations on television have got it wrong.

    It is much as it is with repeats of Come Dine With Me – it is not that the programmes are unduly long – it just seems that way!

  • lamhdearg

    “One thing’s for sure, most Protestants cringe when they see or hear of it, and either avoid it, or get away from it.”
    Care to put up some proof of that?.

  • lamhdearg

    “These days it is an hour or two on both channels in the evening.”
    25min and 30 min, this year.
    tv coverage is crap anyway, no feeling.

  • galloglaigh

    I don’t need to prove anything. More people prefer the humour of Jeremy Clarkson, than do the Twelf. It’s a dwindling event, and the TV figures alone speak for themselves.

    Almost all my Protestant friends and family don’t like, or support the Twelfth. That’s what they tell me anyway. Perhaps they do go, but don’t tell us fenians; they mightn’t want me to know they enjoy a sectarian day out, filled with ‘Kick the Pope’ bands, and kids with KAT and FTP painted on their face!

  • lamhdearg

    In saying that some less fortunate that myself may be unable to get out and watch it, so maybe the tv types should cover it both more, and better, dont hold your breath, especially if your one of those in hospital or an old peoples home, who cant got out to see the real thing, in fact why show any public spectacle on tv, those with an interest should go and see it, and not depend on the companys to which they are forced by law to pay a fee (should they want a tv or radio) to show them what they want.

  • lamhdearg

    Considering your views on the Twelfth, “sectarian day out, filled with Kick the Pope’ bands, and kids with KAT and FTP painted on their face!”,
    i would not let on either, best just to smile at such ignorance, and let it pass.

  • comment awaiting moderation

    That can indeed be WordPress picking up something automatically but it can also be one of the moderators firing a shot across your bow to warn you that a card may come if you persist with something.

  • vanhelsing


    It’s the software. I’ve checked and there is nothing awaiting moderation for you. Not sure but it might have been linked to the post before it. You included multiple links which automatically require authorisaton.

    Anyway nothing sinister..VH

  • Yes; unless you’re the blogger you are allowed a maximum of two links.

  • anne warren

    I had some visitors staying in my house in NI over the 12th this year – from England and EU countries, including a retired intelligence officer. Since nobody felt like getting up in time to turn out to see parade, we all watched it on the BBC in the morning.

    Apart from consensus on poor coverage focussing on bystanders rather than parades, guests expressed consternation at paramilitary-style marching.

    Retired Intelligence officer was particularly upset because they weren’t real armed forces and complained “how dare they?”

    Other guests were also rather shocked and expressed disappointment:”we thought it was a sort of village band festival, with nice tunes.”

    Only bit they liked was the horse and historical costumes for parade in some country town, maybe Randalstown? I can’t remember.

    My guests were pleased they hadn’t bothered getting up early to get a place in Royal Avenue or Shaftesbury Square and said they didn’t want to see such a spectacle again – apart from the historical scenes “which were lovely, what we expected to see everywhere”.

    According to this non-representative sample of professional people the OO have a lot of work to do to turn the 12th into an Orangefest that will attract the support of significant numbers of tourists!

    A word of advice: They might like to focus on historical pageant-type parades, which as we saw is done in some places, rather than emphasizing faux military aspects .

  • Rory Carr

    The trouble with Anne Warren’s otherwise quite reasonable advice is that it would really mean denying the participation of the Loyalist lumpen-proletariat, the very section of the population that, certainly since the last decades of the 19th century, the Orange Order was promoted to control in order that it might collude in its own oppression.

    But, on second thoughts, that perhaps makes the advice all the more sound.

  • Comrade Stalin


    That’s a bit of an unfair characterization. The 12th isn’t wall-to-wall FTP/KAH/etc, and it is unhelpful to spread that notion. Try reading some of the blogs here and elsewhere from Orangemen and others describing their day out and how important it is to them.

    Nationalists have been spending most of the past 20 years arguing for parity of esteem, the need to respect Irish culture, etc. That cuts both ways.

  • Anne and Rory, you two really are a pair of old misery guts 🙂

    The Twelfth, for those who participate, seems to be mainly a family and friends day out with a dash of music and colour, plenty of crack and no one taking themselves too seriously. It’s a grand opportunity to renew old acquaintances and to make new friends.

    Rory, the OO was used towards the end of the 19th century as an umbrella body for Conservatives and Liberal Unionists who were opposed to Gladstone’s Home Rule campaign.

  • anne warren

    Nevin – You, (maybe a participant?), see the 12th as a “family and friends day out”

    English and EU people (complete outsiders who were totally extraneous to NI and its traditions) had a different impression.

    Who was it that said “if we could but see ourselves as others see us?”

    Why denigrate the messenger?

    Why not consider and take on board the message?

  • Comrade Stalin

    Why denigrate the messenger?

    What I don’t understand is why people who call themselves republicans put so much store in what outsiders think.

    I wonder how republicans react when those same outsiders give their opinions on the IRA.

  • Limerick

    “I had some visitors staying in my house in NI over the 12th this year – from England and EU countries, including a retired intelligence officer.”


    Fortunate for you perhaps that there is a ceasefire.

  • anne warren

    I find your comment rather a non-sequitor.

    As Vanhelsing wrote the OO is taking steps towards transforming the 12th into an Orangefest. The type of tourists NI is presumably hoping to attract suggested more needed to be done. I conveyed this message to whatever slugger readers might be interested.

    What’s that got to do with opinions on the IRA which is not, as far as I am aware, trying to attract tourists by running a Greenfest?

    Limerick – is that a veiled threat?

  • Anne, I’m not a member but quite a few friends and relations are; I dare say my cross-community activities over the years would be frowned on in some OO quarters.

    The OO has evolved (after a fashion!) to meet the needs of its members much as other fraternal organisations have done; they hope for decent weather on the Twelfth. I’ve not been to an AOH demonstration but I’d imagine it would be fairly similar so far as its members and supporters are concerned. I doubt if the members of either would be much interested in the views of outsiders, prejudiced or otherwise.

  • galloglaigh

    Maybe ‘Orangefest’ has changed its tune (pardon the pun) since last year, but somehow I doubt it.

  • I have absolutely no problem with Orangemen parading to demonstrate their Protestantism so long as they are not trying to march where they are not wanted. But if they think that they can re-brand themselves, they are pissing in the wind unless they can rid themselves of the ugly, often drunken, hangers-on. As someone remarked, you can put lipstick on a pig but it’s still a pig.

  • babyface finlayson

    anne warren
    Paramilitary style marching was on the tv coverage? Was that bands or Orangemen? I don’t pay much attention to it myself, but the marching always looks closer to dandering than anything else.

  • Joe, do you have a problem with pigs? 😉 I’m a culchie; I saved many piglets’ lives when, as a wee lad, I performed the role of mid-wife. I never slaughtered a pig so that you could have bacon for your breakfast.

    You seem to be suggesting that minorities have no rights whereas there should be room in a shared future for everyone to express their culture. Toleration places responsibilities on those who organise such fraternal gatherings and those who are affected by them. The constitutional question adds a complication that doesn’t often arise elsewhere in these islands. A confrontational approach brings out the worst on all sides. Accommodation is IMO the way to go and I think that’s probably best done through local arrangements.

  • “closer to dandering than anything else.”

    babyface, I’m reminded of the phrase, ‘walking on the Twelfth’ so walking in step with the music would seem to be the intention. I’ve got two left feet so dandering would best describe what I could do!

    Marching indicates a degree of discipline and practice that you wouldn’t expect from a body of folks that might only ‘walk’ to their local lodge church service, the service for a collection of lodges in a district and the Twelfth itself where districts take it in turn to host the annual demonstration.

  • Nevin,

    Please re-read my first sentence; my opprobium was reserved for some</b) of the hangers-on who bring disrepute to the OO.
    I totally agree with your last sentence. It has been generally achieved in Derry for example with the Apprentice Boys.

  • OOPs; shouting wasn’t intended. Just the “some” word.

  • Joe, I did read it. You missed the significance of the wink. I jokingly resented you dumping such opprobrium on pigs 🙂

    Could the success of the Derry ‘solution’ be put down to a broad based approach as distinct from a Loyal Orders v Residents Group tussle? Sinn Fein has now dropped its former confrontational approach but some of its members and former members have rejected this change.

  • Fair enough, Nevin. I could never have been a farmer. I would have grown poor while the animals grew old. But, I have to confess that I really love my bacon sandwiches, and don’t really want to start feeling guilty.

  • galloglaigh

    The problems in Derry are still there. At this years ABOD parade, locals were excluded by the PSNI from entering the city centre. A business man who employs dozens of people, both Catholic, Protestant, as well as others, was told by PSNI officers, to ‘go home Chink’, when he tried to enter the city to open his business on Carlisle road. That is only one example of the many people excluded.

  • anne warren

    reply to Nevin at 11.24 pm – delay due to sleep and a morning’s work!

    Nevin wrote:
    “I’ve not been to an AOH demonstration”
    That makes 2 of us!!

    “but I’d imagine it would be fairly similar so far as its members and supporters are concerned”.
    Would you? I don’t see how the comparison is valid. As far as I am aware the AOH does not have the equivalent of an 11th Night or a 12th with a Bank Holiday and partial shop opening hours in Belfast City Centre. Please correct me if I’ve missed the date on the calendar and the BBC commentary on the parade

    “I doubt if the members of either would be much interested in the views of outsiders, prejudiced or otherwise”.
    If the organisation in question is setting up a family “fest” to attract tourists to NI they should be very interested in feedback as expressed in the views of outsiders – otherwise like any initiative that does not pay any attention to its “ target market”, it is doomed to failure.

  • lamhdearg

    I seem to remember, at least one tv stations morning coverage, paid particular attention to visitor’s from overseas, they all if i remember right stated they where enjoying the parades

  • galloglaigh

    The visitors from overseas, probably didn’t know what KAT or FAP, painted on the kiddies faces meant. Maybe if they had read up on the true meaning of Orangefest, they’d have taken their money elsewhere?

  • Anne, I pointed out that the OO and AOH, as fraternal organisations, mainly operated to serve the needs of their members. The OO’s main day is July 12; AFAIK the AOH parade on March 17 and August 15. The AOH has never attracted the same sort of mass membership as the OO though to uninformed outsiders they probably look like similar organisations.

    Orangefest seems to be an attempt at rebranding to pacify its critics but I doubt if it attracts much interest from the OO grass-roots or cuts much ice with its critics.

    I think tourists would be more likely to come to these parts if there was a greater spirit of toleration and a decrease in confrontation.

  • galloglaigh

    A decrease in confrontation will come about when the Orange Order stop marching where they are not wanted.

  • sonofstrongbow

    In a spirit of togetherness perhaps Irish Republicans could provide a list of dos and don’ts for the OO to reduce the possibility of it giving further ‘offence’?

    In the South post 1922 Republicans’ Parody of Esteem had Orangemen beaten off the streets, although allowed access to a one-day a year parading reservation in County Donegal.

    Perhaps that’s the future in NI? A ten minute twelfth in Larne every now and again?

  • between the bridges

    PC chairman ” in the three-month period June-August 2011, only 74 determinations were placed on more than 2,500 parades – less than 3% of the total. So progress is being made.

    While some of the relatively few contentious parades understandably attract media attention, about 4,000 parades do take place peacefully each year.”

    report on the local 12th which i think GG attended?

  • galloglagh, you’re proposing apartheid rather than toleration. Don’t you think there’s enough apartheid already? Some of it is enforced by loyalist and republican godfathers.

  • galloglaigh

    Na, that’s a flawed argument. Did you see the programme on the bands in Belfast. ‘Aye a Catholic can join the band if he changes his religion’. Not that any Catholic would want to be part of a ‘culture’ that hates them. The Orange Order can’t continue to spout anti-Catholic bigotry, and expect people to tolerate them, on streets where people where killed, by terrorists ‘celebrated’ by loyalist bands in these parades.

  • between the bridges

    As for the individual ‘stories’ of outsiders views I have a couple of my own…12th July morning parading enniskillen a bus load of French tourists watched, enjoyed, photographed and followed the parade. A few weeks later I was at a band parade in kesh, a friend had English visitors over and when we met up after I asked them what their impressions where of the parade in short they ‘loved it’…go figure eh?

  • galloglaigh ,

    You’re overegging the pudding and virtually begging others to indulge in whataboutery.

  • between the bridges

    GG a religious organisation that promotes its own religion over others, surely not? I can’t imagine that catching on…

  • galloglaigh, I was referring to the OO and the AOH, not the bands that identify with loyalist and republican paramilitaries. The growth in this expression of band culture owes a lot to the growth in apartheid that you recommend and that Gerry Adams used to promote. Gerry has since flipped but it seems that you and these bands have not.

  • galloglaigh, just reflecting on your pseudonym. Is you here on holiday – as the man said? ‘Gall’ translates as foreigner. If you browse those NALIL links I put up you’ll see an ‘indigenous’ Ballyoglagh LOL 1190 banner 🙂

  • Drumlins Rock

    Had visitors here for the 12th from America, one of them had been here of 6 months, they loved it, want to come back next year, she said it was the best day of her whole time in Ireland, and this wasn’t just pleasing her host she had posted these comments on facebook to her friends back home. Have had similar comments from other visitors, American European and African. I doubt the Belfast 12th is the best example, the more country the better to be blunt, jsut ask McGregor!
    Joe, as Bridges said only 3% of the parades are contentious, (this includes 50 Drumcree parades that never happen) and even with these the restrictions can often be quite minor, so parading isn’t the issue it is made out to be. Finally, catholics can be members of Loyalsit Bands, and I have know of some to take part in the 12th even.

  • lamhdearg

    “Maybe if they had read up on the true meaning of Orangefest, they’d have taken their money elsewhere?”
    Wishful thinking.

  • anne warren

    Reply to Nevin 12.56 – delay due to afternoon’s work, dinner etc
    That’s a very sincere, honest and interesting reply which opens up an enormous range of perspectives.

    I’d like to leave the AOH out of the picture for 2 reasons
    1) neither of us seems to be in a position to comment on it with any authority and
    2) the thread is about the OO.

    So if we delete the AOH from your reply we get
    “Anne, I pointed out that the OO mainly operated to serve the needs of their members”.
    Would anyone, not necessarily Nevin, care to comment on what these needs are?

    “Orangefest seems to be an attempt at rebranding to pacify its critics but I doubt if it attracts much interest from the OO grass-roots or cuts much ice with its critics”.
    This observation suggests Orangefest has failed – which raises a series of questions.
    Was the laudable aim of promoting a “fest” to attract tourists and try to improve the NI image/economy just a smokescreen for same old, same old while feigning otherwise?
    Are we to surmise the OO is deliberately dragging its heels? Refusing to involve its grassroots? Refusing to engage with its critics? Why?
    Or is it unable to do so? If so, why?

    Was this a deliberate strategy designed to confound and bamboozle not only nationalists/republicans but those that wanted NI to be “as British as Finchley” ?

    Is any public money involved in promoting Orangefest? If so, the answers to the above questions could prove to be more than interesting.

    No doubt other Sluggerites will think of other questions. Hopefully some will provide credible answers

    PS If someone sets up a thread about the AOH I’d be glad to read it. I know nothing about this organisation but will comment if I feel my views add to a rational discussion

  • babyface finlayson

    anne warren
    I am still curious as to what your guests meant by ‘paramilitary style marching’. Which Lodges had exchanged bowler hats for balaclavas?

  • anne warren

    Babyface, it wasn’t a question of exchanging bowlers for balaclavas. As we watched TV it was the impression the Belfast parade made and its atmosphere – which was completely different to the other one with the horse and historical pageantry which everyone liked.

    I think some people were dressed in WWI uniforms. This was the only group that fitted in to some extent with what my guests expected to see – bands from different parts of the city with local people in “folk” –type costumes, waving and smiling at onlookers etc.

    Thinking it over, the lack of women’s lodges on parade might have added to the rather “heavy” atmosphere

    The retired officer was particularly upset – as far as he was concerned men walking or marching military-style should be limited to official Armed Services parades.

  • Limerick

    “The retired officer was particularly upset – as far as he was concerned men walking or marching military-style should be limited to official Armed Services parades.”

    The poor man would have keeled over if he had been subjected to a St Patrick’s Day parade. You get to see people in real paramilitary style uniforms there, and the standard of marching would have given him a heart attack.

  • galloglaigh


    Say for arguments sake, that I disagree, as I do, with republican bands being used in St. Patricks Day parades.

    Would you disagree with loyalist bands, such as the Star of the Shankill, being used in Orange Order parades?

  • babyface finlayson

    anne warren
    I am not a fan of the Orange Order as I think they are needlessly provocative. However I think paramilitary is a bit of a stretch. Perhaps quasi military and even that gives a flattering impression of their ‘marching’.
    It’s a small point I suppose, but when the term ‘paramilitary’ is used here it has clear implications.

  • Limerick

    Yes I would.

  • Drumlins Rock

    Anne if your military friend ever visits again makes sure you keep him away from Remembrance Sunday, those Boy Scouts and Girl Guides, not to mention the Brownies and Cubs! would give him a heart attack, how dare they “march” on the streets without enduring at least 3 assault courses and small arms training.

    As for Orangefest, it actually started in Tyrone,.

  • galloglaigh

    So you do agree that these bands are controversial. The Star of the Shankill is a band the ABOD continue to request in its procession on the Crumlin road every year. This band, as you know commemorates a man who murdered another man on that road. The murder was purely sectarian. Do you disagree then, with this flute band being part of that parade? Do you think that the ABOD are provoking nationalists by continually request this flute band?

  • anne warren

    Babyface – you’re right!”quasi” would have been the better word and for the reason you stated.How easy it is to offend unintentionally.

    Drumlin: I recognise you were being flippant but your words made me pause for thought. To he honest (and this is an idea that has just crossed my mind) I think the 12th parades would be much better if the Girl Guides/Boy Scouts/Boys brigade were included along with contingents from the Red Cross/St John’s Ambulance Brigade/Ambulance and Fire Services/ PSNI /Land and Sea Rescue Services/ NI lifeboats association and other similar organizations. Think how nice a parade would be with some in historical costumes and some in modern uniforms. After all they all make a significant contribution to life in NI and including them would be one way to show appreciation.

    Like to tell us some more about the origins of Orangefest in Tyrone?

  • vanhelsing

    Whilst we’re talking quite qualitatively about Loyal Order experiences I’ll add my tuppence worth. Most of the folk that I know don’t like the Loyal Orders come from here in NI. Any friends from the mainland or further afield who were around for the 12th I’ve always taken them to the demonstration and they have enjoyed it.

    I also did some basic research for slugger last year on peoples reactions to the 12th [the watchers] and talked to quite a few foreign folk – although mostly Asian. They were all positive to a man/woman- but I guess they were already there. I even met a girl doing her thesis from the States on marching/parades – she was loving it!

  • lamhdearg

    anne they are all there, but not in those uniforms, the antiprods would have a fit.

  • Drumlins Rock

    Anne, in my area the Orange District did that a few yrs ago for the Golden Jubilee, had a joint parade with the youth organisations, it was a great parade, however there are probably too many over laps on the 12th with band members etc. for it to work.
    We have 3 twelfth parades in Tyrone, with the host districts and organisors changing each year, but generally the celebrations are extended over the weekend, with a local band parade, exhibition, historic booklet, and some side shows on the 12th included, a few years ago one of the Districts decided to call it Orangefest, it might have been used a few times since, but Belfast seems to have adopted it as their own.
    If you want to see what a Tyrone 12th is like have a look back at Mark McGregors posts from Clogher, even if he was detmined to find fault!

  • Kevsterino

    How long is it before the local lodges rule on the complaint(s)? I would think the OO would want to get this behind them asap.

  • between the bridges

    ULSTER Unionists Tom Elliott and Danny Kennedy will not face disciplinary action from the Orange Order for attending the funeral Mass of a Roman Catholic police officer.

    It is understood both senior politicians appeared before separate disciplinary panels in Lurgan last week.

    The action was taken after a lodge in Sandy Row, Belfast claimed both men had “sold their principles for political expediency” by attending the funeral service of Constable Ronan Kerr in April.

    Under Orange Order rules, brethren are forbidden from taking part in Catholic Mass.

    Speaking to the BBC, UUP leader Mr Elliott said he hoped a line could now be drawn under the matter.

    “The Orange Order have internal processes and procedures to go through and they have gone through those and, quite clearly, what I am hoping is that we can move on,” he said.

    “That we can move on in a sense that what we did was right.”


  • OneNI

    It says alot that these two men – who have democratic mandates – have such deference to the Orange Order that they trotted all the way to Lurgan to this ‘Disciplinary Hearing’
    If they had any sense they would sent a note saying ‘There is no case to answer and I have better things to do. Do your worst’
    But they didnt they tugged their forelock to Grand Wizards

  • andrew2

    They are members, they turn up to explain their actions and everything is fine, as it should, of course, be. Is there really anything to criticise in that.
    I suspect you’re just annoyed that they weren’t hung, drawn and quartered; it would have made a much better story!

  • Alan N/Ards


    I totally agreee with you. They should have told these dinasaurs that they would not be attending. As far as I can see the OO has nothing to do with Christianity but all to do with religion. Religion and Christianity do not necessarily mean the same thing and on the island of Ireland there are far to many Pharisees and not enough Christians.

  • JR

    I agree with OneNI too, Makes them look like bold school boys sent to the head master.

  • Reader

    JR; Alan; OneNI – is the Orange Order a special case, or should everyone refuse to attend disciplinary hearings of any organisation of which they might be a member? For instance, I have helped other people to make their case at hearings in sporting clubs in the past – should they have refused to go?

  • quality


    Disciplinary proceedings brought about for attending a funeral deserve to be treated with contempt, its hardly the same as a disciplinary hearing of a sports club.

  • andrew2

    I would not dream of being in the Orange Order, but being in the Order is not illegal or immoral. If you are in a society you go through with its procedures.
    By going to the hearing, Elliott and Kennedy have obtained the result that nearly everybody would want – that going to the funeral was, at the least, permissible. Surely it is good to get that made clear.
    As I said above, I suspect that many of those criticising their attendance are just disappointed that the Order has come out, as far as it goes, in a good light.

  • Nunoftheabove


    A good light ? You’re kidding, right ? Is it too much to ask that we are allowed to know the basis upon which this pair were not disciplined given that it appears to be in breach of the disciplinary code and what if any implications it has for their code of conduct going forward ? Aren’t there clear precedents for this type of ‘transgression’ from the past and if so does this decision represent an effective re-writing of the rules of these eccentric organizations ?

    I differ slightly from some of those above who argue that the more dignified thjing to do would have been to have shown the order the one finger salature by staying away. If the two gentlemen have such a scarcity of self-respect as to be open and voluntary members of this silly, sinister reactionary organization in the first place then they’d have salvaged very little dignity by failing to adhere to its internal procedures by declining the invitation/instruction to appear. It seems to me that they’re not any more deserving of our scorn or, if you prefer, our pity for showing up than they would have been had they not bothered.

  • between the bridges

    strange how there isn’t as much mileage in the decision as there was the complaint…

  • andrew2


    I did deliberately say a good light as far as it goes. Given the decision of the Sandy Row Lodge to raise the issue, this was as good a result as you were going to get. Obviously it would have been better if the situation had been left with the original statement of the Order that it was good for everybody to show support for the murdered officer and his family.
    The rest of your first paragraph seems to be trouble-making. Presumably the rule is taken to mean that one should not opt to worship in a Catholic church, reasonable enough I would have thought considering the aims of the Order, which I by no means share, but may attend services to show compassion to others. This, I believe, has been the de facto position for a considerable time.

  • Nunoftheabove


    Trouble making ?! Oh for crying out loud…..

    Look, call me old man pedantry if you like but they’ve had this issue to deal with and clarify for over two hundred years. One would have thought that an organization which has been obsessing itself about the errors of popery for over two centuries might just have found the time to perhaps bring a little clarity to its rules and positions on these matters, would one not ?

    Let’s reherase some of these not-very-complicated questions again:

    When is it ok for an order member to be in a catholic church and when is it not ok ?

    If one attends a catholic ceremony such as a marriage, a christening or a funeral is one technically participating in the ritual or isn’t one ?

    If the pretext of the attendance is in respect of a police officer’s murder, as opposed to, say the death of a neighbour on account of natural causes, does it make a difference ? If so, why, how and to what extent ?

    These people gather in cow-fields by the thousand each year to blether on and on and on about this kind of rubbish – why the reluctance to clarify their position now ?

  • “These people gather in cow-fields”

    I just spotted this little piece of trivia, Nun. It’s probably been some time since the likes of the Loyal Orders assembled there or a GAA hurler manoeuvred a sliotar around the cow-clap. This year the local OO folks picnicked on the council (GAA) playing fields of Eton Ballycastle and last year they took to a field on the outskirts of Bushmills from which silage had been harvested – no ‘bovine-applause’ apparent.

  • Nunoftheabove


    You obviously haven’t been to Macosquin recently, sham….

    I’m delighted to hear news of this remarkable evolutionary development in some non-urban areas. Before we know where we are they’ll not be needing the wellington boots at all so the pace of change can only be described as fierce altogether. Be sure to keep me posted should we be ready to declare the days when the braided band trousers tended to be kept at – or in some cases well above – waist height with the exclusive assistance of sisal formally over.

    Billy is as Billy does but Brer cow is King as far as I’m concerned. I know what side my bap’s burgered on.

  • “some non-urban areas.”

    Nun, Ballycastle and Bushmills are, er, urban areas 🙂

    Farmers in Moyle used manila, apparently a superior product to that sisal rubbish used by urban cowboys in Belfast and the like. I can’t vouch for Macosquin but I recognise sham as a Route colloquialism much favoured by urban cowboys in Ballymoney and Dervock 🙂

    It seems the burgered bap is an expression of NI’s shared culture. Perhaps it could be used as a logo for glossy CSI documents 🙂

    “Brer cow is King as far as I’m concerned”

    You sound like a true urban cowboy, the boyos who are prone to talking bull when it comes to culchie matters. A cow is from the female of the species 🙂

  • Nunoftheabove


    For your sake I’m pleased you can’t/won’t vouch for Macosquin.

    And put that “we’re urban, so we are” bubble gum card straight back in your pocket, mister. The last thing we need right now is some form of pitch-fork-brandishing reaction from those touchy muthaz up ’round Kilraughts thonder. Those cross-eyed muthaz might be – indeed, invariably are – inbreeds but they sure as hell know how to hunt uppity culchies.

    Manila indeed….PAH !

    So long as it comes with fries, bourbon and a smile I couldn’t give a french onion what gender my burger is, or indeed what gender the brethren’s monarch is/was. Stick that in your pink pipe and stroke it, city boy 😉

    And any more of those references to ‘er indoors will have to result in a stern letter (snail mail, natch.) to the Moyle Times. Chilling to imagine the type of mail their problem page guy/gal gets, holy Jesus….

  • “references to ‘er indoors”

    Is she from Kilraughts, Nun? 😉 By the way, the ‘d’ in thonder is silent.

    The Ballymoney n Moyle Times lifts material from NALIL blog, sometimes with permission, sometimes without!

    The Loyal Orders are not so much afflicted IMO by evolution as by devolution; too much power resides at local level – a bit like back in the 60s and earlier when Unionist, Nationalist and Socialist councillors decided who got a house or a job.

    By the way, I’m a culchie – born and rared – even though the clachan I live in is known as the toon. And thanks for the free ammo.

  • der Liebhaber

    ORANGEFEST- for tourists alswel .. that’s laughable. As a foreigner in Belfast on the 12th I make sure I don’t leave my home, and that’s due to fear!

  • Mr E Mann

    LOL religion

  • Neil

    Update – Sandy Row Temperance people (LOL!!!) appealing the decision taken against the Tominator.


  • JR

    Watched the spotlight last night. Seems to encompas alot for an organisation. Everything from old time dancing with tea and biscuits to sectarian anti-catholic dogma.

    My view as an outsider is that it would do better to keep the tea, biscuits, dancing and marching while dropping the anti-catholicism.

    The oo spokesman almost turned purple when asked about the future monarch potentially marrying a catholic.

  • between the bridges

    JR well purple is the original royal colour!
    Fair enough comments the OO is a single identity religion community organisation there are thousands of event’s yarely, many of the rules/qualifications date back to early 1800’s and could be updated to reflect modern society, mine you the same could be said about other religious organisations


  • The contrast between the two Ministers could not have been more evident.
    Rev Brian Kennaway has done much to have the Orange Order “understood” by people and in 30 minutes on “Spotlight” his work was completely undermined.Are the PSNI recruits and others getting a true picture of the Orange Order?
    It seems to me that there is (more or less) an East-West divide and that the difference between a West Tyrone member and a West Belfast member is as great as the difference between Catholic and Protestant.

    The problem……or indeed encouragement……for Catholic residents is that there are two distinct types of Orangeman wanting to/demanding to walk/march thru their areas/”Queens” Highway…….and one type of Orangeman is so thoroughly affable and decent that it is clearly “wrong” impede them.
    On the other hand the “bad” Orangeman is so thoroughly sectarian and hate filled…that appeasing him is not an option.

    While they remain within the same Oragnisation….35,000 apparently and a disproportionate number of “headbangers” that the logical stance of Catholics/Nationalists/Republicans/Liberals is to keep the pressure on the Orange Order until they either change (or get some manners) or break up into two Orange Orders (actually it would be three I suppose).

    Either way its a good result.

  • JR


    (ignoring the whataboutary) I couldn’t agree more with your point on the catholic church.

    The asertion made by spotlight that there were a dozen different lodges mainly form Derry and Antrim to formally complain, not just the one on Sandy Row spotlight also was interesting.

  • Neil

    It’s an interesting point you touch on ther FJH. It’s what makes the OO troublesome to debate. To Unionists they may think of the buns and tea in the field types. Young kids out having good clean fun etc.

    To Nationalists we conjure up images of the worst of the Belfast bands, sectarian, pissed, exposing themselves in public etc.

    Throw in the blood and thunder crowd and the fact that (from my own point of view certainly but possibly) to the average Nationalist they’re all one and the same and we get to the point where we can never really reach resolution because we’re all talking about different things.

  • Well arguably when youre left with just 35,000 members its a hard core and perhaps if there were 50,000 or whatever, they would be more “representative” of Protestants. (I wont say representative of Protestantism itself…….as clearly there are more Protestants and/or unionists outside the Order).
    Necessarily because of my interest in early 18th century history, I am friendly with some “Orange” people. We have made the same trips to the same sites, often in groups………and frankly no better people.
    The “problem” if there is one…is whether the Orange Order can be dealt with while it presents two faces. The “reasonable” face. Or the “unreasonable” face.

    Tactically its surely better for nationalists NOT to deal with them while they are uncertain about what direction to go.They are simply unable to deliver.
    Better to wait ten years when the Orange Order has got its act together…..and another 5,000 have marched away.
    Quite possibly reasonable people will have taken over…..but I doubt it.
    As stated last night the big enemy is “modernism”.
    I would imagne that things that really challenge the average Orangeman are the knowledge that a family member is gay, divorced, re-married,dating a Catholic ora Buddhist …..which oddly enough is the same challenge that “average” Catholics tend to face.

    Most reasonable Christian people find a way of dealing with modernity.

  • sectarianheadcount

    Agree with much of what you say here fitzjameshorse, but 35,000 members is still a lot. You could add up the combined memberships of the unionist parties and the OO would still amount to 10 x that number. So if – as is possible – the OO are unrepresentative what does that make the unionist parties!?

  • Absolutely true and I would even go further..that 35,000 is mere “membership” and that this figure could be multiplied by at least 3 adult dependents……to give an indication of “support” with the proviso that the Orange Order is itself split between “nice” people and “not so nice” people.
    I think the position with the political Parties is that around 200,000 support DUP and another 88,000 support UUP and (as I recall) 15,000 support TUV….thats 300,000 “Protestants” plus those who vote Alliance (say another 30,000).
    Core “Orange” support is probably around 100,000 but thats still a long way short of over 300,000 “unionist” voters and those who dont vote at all.

  • between the bridges

    FJH, good to hear you have met some nice ‘Orangemen’ of course the rest of us are head bangers! I know some really nice Catholics so to use your own logic the rest must be….?

    As for the number of supporters why stop at x3? As approx 500k attended the 12th perhaps this is a better guide? As for waiting for another 5k to march away it might be awhile as numbers have remained steady for a few years and have increased this year.

    As for the qualifications my own personal view is they need to be modernized to reflect the reality, individuals will make their own decisions on attendance or not, regardless of membership of the OO there are protestants that will attended RC services and there are those who will not.

  • JR


    Any chance of an independant link to varify that 500k figure?

  • between the bridges
  • JR

    I still find that very hard to believe BTB. Maybe it is the engineer in me but I have to go back to first principals.

    UTV had the estimate for Belfast at 250,000. So that would be 20 people every meter if the parade was 12.5km parades length. I saw the footage and there wasn’t a shoulder to shoulder 10 deep both sides of the road for 12.5km.

    Even taking these UTV estimates I added all the UTV estimates for the 7 other main demonstrations and got 60k People. (15k Killylay, 15k Limavady, 15k Ballycastle, 10k Comber, 7k Randalstown, 5k Bally Ronan)

    still well sort of 500K

    The real total 12th participation and attendance is closer to 100K

  • Between the Bridges,
    I am rarely logical but even so you appear to be comparing Apples and Oranges so to speak.
    I daresay I am one of many people whose life has been enriched thru friendship with members of the Orange Order. And indeed the broader Protestant community.
    I feel extremely sorry for any Sluggerite whose life has not been enriched by……..what we might call… cross community friendships.

    And yes I know many Catholic headbangers.
    But you appear not to have noticed that in speaking specifically about the Orange Order members (a group whose public image is often perceived as anti-Catholic),

    I am not drawing any conclusions about broader Protestantism.

    You appear to be comparing Catholicism itself with Orange Order.
    Shome mistake shurely.

  • between the bridges

    JR Any chance of an independant link to varify that 100k figure?
    FJH, ‘(I wont say representative of Protestantism itself”….’I am not drawing any conclusions about broader Protestantism.”..

    no’ conclusions’ other than the OO is not representative…

  • JR



    My point exactly BTB! As there are no official figures My 100K estimate is as legit as your 500k one. Belly telly has it at 500K, BBC “tens of thousands”, offical OO pressrelease “10’s of thousands”

    What I did, (this is nerdy) is multiplied the number of bands in each demonstration by 70 (assuming 70members per band) then added four times the total length of each parade in meters asuming 2 deep crowd both sides of the road for the entire length. then added some more for luck.

  • between the bridges

    Jr i win!! ( at least i provided a link!!)

    i accept that it’s all guesswork, nonetheless it is a large number of proddyorangebigotts!!

  • JR

    A large number indeed, almost as many as there are taigygreenethnicclensers in the GAA!!