The first Armagh St Patrick’s Day’s Ulster band parade…

Armagh City will be the centre of St Patrick’s day celebrations, with scout parades in the morning, a cross community parade through out the day and Irish music sessions in many of the city centre pubs. And this year, for the first time, when all the daytime celebrations are over, the city will host a band parade around the commercial centre of town.

The parade is being organised by Cormeen Rising Sons of William Flute Band, a local band who say that they are using a “well established band procession route that has no historical issues of contention” that all but the beginning is non residential. They also issued this statement:

While the event is of course a traditional Ulster band parade, and obviously participation will therefore be limited to bands from within that sector, all are welcome to watch and enjoy the music and colour of the procession regardless of creed or colour. As such the event falls within the remit of the Council policy on St Patricks events in the City.

The Parades Commission’s determination to allow the parade was challenged yesterday by Sinn Fein, the SDLP and several members of the public on several grounds. Commercial disruption being one of them and concerns about civil order in the city being another.

One specific concern raised was that the council sponsored cross community parade (devoid of flags and symbols) would be ‘frequented almost exclusively by nationalists and republicans’. There was also concern for the integrity of the parade itself with one SDLP councillor saying that up to 25% of it’s participants pulling out on news of the evening event.

And there was particular criticism levelled at the PSNI for not raising concerns about public safety. For its part the PSNI appears happy that there has been no specific civic disruption in Armagh city for over ten years.

Arguably, this is something of a test. There seems little doubt that the parade complete with insignia, flags and emblems would not qualify for inclusion in council sponsored parade. But it seems that the organisers have been ultra careful to ensure that all regulations have been complied with.

They also say that they have wanted to march on St Patrick’s Day since 2005 and this is the culmination of those efforts. It should be noted that the unfurling of a tricolour at a similar cross community event in Downpatrick last year was considered by some to have set community relations back decades, this one may test the diversity doctrine to the limit.

Or are we all ‘getalongerists’ now?

, ,

  • Mick Fealty

    Change….

    “except this little corner of Ireland…”

    Precisely. It’s a prisoners dilemma. Ireland ‘here’ is not the same as Ireland ‘there’. It is not open to singular and exclusive definitions. And whatever you imagine StP’s in the Republic to be, it is not divisive as it has become in Northern Ireland.

    What these bandsmen are doing is taking back the term Irish and redefining it. And they have been very careful and thorough in the way they have done it. It strikes me that that’s a great deal more healthy than the denial there’s been amongst a lot of Unionists over the last thirty years.

    If nationalist reps had engaged earlier in the process people might have been better prepared for this eventuality. Instead they left to an appeal stage and now people are getting hysterical. Well, so far as I see of the problem on this occasion that’s not the bands’ fault.

    I linked to Feeney’s piece last week to reiterate the point that shared future entails embracing diversity. That can’t just be a one way street. Armagh and Downpatrick are particularly resonant of Patrick. More than anywhere on the island that revers his name. Both have Cathedrals which bear his name. Armagh has two.

    What does either lose by showing tolerance to what is locally a minority tradition paying their own respects, in their own way?

  • changeisneeded

    Babyface , call yourself what u want but if you where born in Ireland your Irish.
    Yeah its that’s simple regarding the 12th July and 17th march. To say otherwise is avoidance….

  • Reader

    changeisneeded: Reader you seem to miss the point completly
    Saint Paddys day = Irish = Tricolour

    But I’m Irish, and the Tricolour isn’t my flag – mine is the union flag. However, I have no interest in waving a divisive political flag on a Saint’s day. In fact, it seems to be exactly the wrong sort of day to do that. But you seem to think it is appropriate.
    However, it should comfort you to know that the Tricolour will probably be flown in more times and places than the Union flag this weekend. So goodness knows why you are so worked up about a single specific band parade.

  • Mick Fealty

    Change…

    That’s how you define it. Fair enough. It’s a fair description of how some (maybe many) younger nationalists see it in NI, but that description falls apart beyond its borders (where it was largely manufactured as a modern holiday)…

  • changeisneeded

    Mick. Where do I start.. so the bands are redefining saint paddys day as British…? There is no other explaination.
    Nationalism bends over backwards to be accomodating , billy boy bigots say no we are going to march with our union flags on saint paddys and you are blaming the nationalist reps. Unbelievable twisting of reality.

  • Mick Fealty

    I’ve said my piece… Night all…

  • changeisneeded

    Reader
    ” But I’m Irish, and the Tricolour isn’t my flag – mine is the union flag”

    Poor fella you are confused..
    Catch yourself on..

  • changeisneeded

    Cheers Mick.there’s a lot of people not happy with this carry on . I’ll keep it clean.

  • babyface finlayson

    Changeisneeded
    As far as I am aware this band parade has been taking place for a number of years now. Prods celebrating St Patrick’s Day. I am not aware of any republican parades celebrating the 12th anywhere.
    Thus I refute you.
    Reader, on an unrelated note I have to say for ages I thought your avatar was a Gabby Hayes type character with a big white beard, not some guy in a ruff. I think I need glasses.

  • Yer basic problem there is that there’s no trust. Those on the Nationalist side are probably pissed off thinking – “why the hell did we ever agree to marching with no flags as a gesture and now these Johnny come latelies pitch up with their legal compliance but defeating the spirit of the whole scene”. It might be very clever to get around the rules but there’s no denying it has people suspicious and that is where silly things get said and done!

    Someone needs to make a public gesture to the other side to let everyone know its alright – doesn’t matter which side jumps first but someone has to say they are welcome in whatever way they choose to honour the Irish Patron Saint and National Day, or they might equally say that they genuinely mean no offence and will send one of their bands to play in the earlier parade while complying with the “get alongerism” rules. Or maybe they can play a few oul Irish tunes on their way up the street to make it an occasion.

    Either way trust is needed. Come on “leaders” do the right thing.

  • changeisneeded

    The traditional route line, huh babyface?
    you do see the glaringly obvious conflict of a loyalist marching band pretending to be British on the day we celebrate being Irish..

  • babyface finlayson

    Changeisneeded
    I have no idea what your traditional route reference means.
    Do you think they were pretending to celebrate St Patrick’s Day just to annoy the taigs?
    I don’t actually think this separate parade is a good idea. A bit more negotiation might have produced a better result.
    However your determination to keep everyone in their little boxes is very sad.

  • changeisneeded

    Welcome to NI dude.
    Everyone is boxed from birth…you ever applied for a job here?
    The traditional route line is suggesting that because these idiots have previously marched on st pats means its ok to march wherever they want. Typical loyalist aggressive move, go where you are not wanted. You have to admit they have plenty form in this regard.

  • BluesJazz

    Just to repeat.
    Why is March 17th, specifically, St Patrick’s Day?

    Why is St David’s day in Wales or St Andrews day in Scotland not treated in the same way with a wave of alcohol abuse and fast foods?

    Why is there such a thing as a ‘Saints day’ in the 21st Century? *sponsored by Diageo*. it’s hardly ‘The Wicker Man’

    What happened on March 17, x thousand years ago to trigger a celebration of stout and leprechauns?
    Is it, like Easter, something to do with the moon?

  • babarino

    Loyalists wanting to celebrate their Irish nationality isn’t a problem. As an atheist celebrant of St. Patrick’s they have more a right, if they’re christian, than I. Fly the tricolour and the union jack, the former inclusive of Orange identity, the latter of St. Patrick and Irish identity, in an ideal world.

    But in a land where flags mark territory we’re not ready for that yet. We have union jacks stuck in out faces for three months of the year. St, Patrick’s Day is one day when the tricolour is flown freely.

    The practicalities of the situation need to be considered, a bit less point scoring on this one le do thoil. Were Papist bands to parade through Belfast on July 12 and celebrate Orange victory, as the pope did in 1690, there would be trouble, irrespective of whether they flew tricolours or not. Armagh could do without Cormeen Sons for now, hopefully we’ll get there in the future.

  • babyface finlayson

    Changeisneeded
    You should change your moniker as you seem rather resistant to change.
    Do you believe these cunning loyalists set up a band parade 5 or 6 years ago and paraded every March 17th through Killylea even though they really hated it,just so they could eventually get to disrupt the Armagh celebrations. I don’t think those guys are that Machiavellian myself.
    My point being that St Patrick’s Day is cross community in a way that the 12th is not. And surely that is a good thing?
    Anyway bedtime for me. Goodnight.

  • BluesJazz

    Does Queenie still dish out the shamrocks to the Irish Guards at their base in Ballymena?

    Anyway, what a farce..
    http://www.history.com/topics/st-patricks-day

    Face painting, bouncy castles, cheeseburgers, booze, taking monday off….
    A good night for the A&E at the Royal I would bet.

  • SK

    “I have no interest in waving a divisive political flag on a Saint’s day. In fact, it seems to be exactly the wrong sort of day to do that.”

    _

    I would be inclined to agree with that. If St Patrick’s day is a day to be celebrated by all, then why not celebrate it together?

    There are two parades in Armagh this year. One seeks to bring people together, the other seeks to emphasise that which sets us apart. Which do you think is a more appropriate tribute to Saint Patrick?

  • changeisneeded

    Calling st pats cross community is a bit of a white lie. It will never be really cross community, that’s just for the getalongerism and msm.
    I’m just judging the loyalists on their past behavior and they seem to enjoy going where they are not wanted.
    Goodnight

  • Drumlins Rock

    “The first parade on Saint Patrick’s Day was organized in 1737 by the “Charitable Society of Boston”, New York held its first parade in 1766. Make no mistake – these were parades under the control of Colonial WASPdom. The movers and shakers were certainly white and Protestant, most of them also conscious of their Anglo-Saxon (cultural) heritage. And the parades were events for the British community, celebrating their Irish fraction. British troops raised in Ireland paraded, the health of the king was toasted. A far cry from later parades – and a sign of the times when 75% of the Irish living in America were Protestants.”

    from Go-ireland website

  • between the bridges

    DR i could be wrong but i think the charitable society (founded by ulster scots prebys) held dinners not parades? and the new york parade was the first recorded parade? and as you say it was by irish regiments in the BA.

  • USA

    Mick,
    Firstly, your’e welcome.

    Secondly, if the band chose not to celebrate St.Patrick’s Day with everyone else, then the PSNI and the PC should have left them in Killyleagh (?) village.

    Mr. Quincey claims preconditions were placed on his band. But it is possible once his application was accepted, the PC / Parade orgaizers were doing their due diligence by explaining the rules of participation.

    This seems to be a devisive move with regard to community relations in the Armagh area, and will be seen as provocative by many. The PSNI should have cited public safety issues and the PC refused the permit.

    I hope Mr. Quincey and his travelling companions prove us all wrong.

  • Mick Fealty

    Blues Jazz, 17th is thought to be the date Patrick died…

    USA, first yes, many thanks for the heads up… as you’ll gather it took a fair bit of work before I decided to do a piece on it… in fact it was the absence of content in that presser you sent me that that pushed me into doing the research…

    Second, by want powers do you believe they could have confined them to the village of Killylea? The only legislation that conferred power like that was the PTA. Do you think the PA was set to promote the extinction of the Orange tradition from Northern Ireland?

    It does have a duty to protect residents and marchers alike. In this case, the marchers have done everything the PA has asked of it. And the PSNI have judged that there has been no record of civil unrest in the city for over ten years.

    Now, that may change tomorrow. We’ll see. But as you’ll no doubt have seen, these bands at least went through the proper procedure. Sinn Fein’s Mr Mac Con Midhe unfurled a tricolour in Downpatrick last year and this year the cross of St Patrick has been banned. As a result, the Downpatrick parade is now single identity.

    That’s what happens when you bind people up with too many rules. You suck the meaning of everything dry. And you force their hand.

  • “As a result, the Downpatrick parade is now single identity.”

    There’s a new twist to the Downpatrick tale:

    Unionists have vowed to stay away from Northern Ireland’s biggest St Patrick’s Day parade because of a row over flags.

    A sectarian row broke out over the use of the Irish language on a new flag to be handed out by Down District Council during their annual carnival on March 17.

    Ironically, the flag — designed by the council’s Good Relations Forum — had been intended to defuse the tensions that arose last year when a Sinn Fein councillor insisted on carrying a 10ft Irish Tricolour during the procession.

    It seems you can annoy some of the people all of the time.

  • separatesix

    Changeisneeded I do not agree with your argument, people have the right to define their nationality how they wish, Changeisneeded do you believe that a Basque person is actually Spanish because they were born in Spain? if you don’t agree with that statement then you are a hypocrite. Marches where they’re not wanted? You’re like a racist Changeisneeded. Protestants live in Armagh too the streets belong to them too not just nationalists.

  • “his travelling companions”

    Where do all the bands in the annual Cormeen parade come from? Will they be travelling from Fermanagh, Tyrone and Down as well as from other parts of the Orchard County?

  • separatesix: “Protestants live in Armagh too the streets belong to them too not just nationalists”

    I mentioned in an earlier post that the issue is trust. No one disputes that the streets belong to both, no one ever has. It’s just that the way they get used is the issue. The people proposing this parade in Armagh are not trusted, their motives are not trusted, the intent is not trusted nor indeed understood. Simplifying the argument to ownership of streets sounds very much like the worst of the parades standoffs throughout the past decade and beyond.

    Common sense tells you what is right and what isn’t, and right now the trust is not there so this risks being seen as provocative unless some trust building goes alongside it and there is little sign of that.

  • changeisneeded

    They can define all they want. If they are born in Ireland they are Irish, just because they have been indoctrinated and brought up being told they are British and superior doesn’t make them so. If you born in the Basque country then you are Basque , simples.
    Yeah those prods in Armagh had a chance to walk alongside their neighbours on the same street. Guess who wouldn’t compromise. Yup the never never brigade . No surrender.

  • Quincey Dougan

    USA, I think there’s some confusion here.

    On celebration. Neither the council, Sinn Fein or indeed anyone OWNs St Patrick’s Day or the City of Armagh. They have no God given right to dictate how or where people chose to express celebration. We however didn’t and don’t disregard participating in Council events- we simply couldn’t because it would have involved contorting our band into a generic faceless personality less meaningless space filler. It wouldn’t have been ‘us’.

    “Mr. Quincey claims preconditions were placed on his band. But it is possible once his application was accepted, the PC / Parade organisers were doing their due diligence by explaining the rules of participation.”

    The pre-conditions referred to were in regard to the council event and were placed by the Council alone after the acceptance of invitation. Other groups, including the Catholic Boys Scouts, also could not abide by certain conditions laid down to them in relation to participation. Many others within Irish Nationalism disagree too. As I think vie said, I do to. Multi-coloured bunting and a bland half-hearted attempt at an American style parade makes the event farcical.

    “This seems to be a divisive move with regard to community relations in the Armagh area, and will be seen as provocative by many. The PSNI should have cited public safety issues and the PC refused the permit.”

    This is a non-contentious parade route. Sinn Fein acknowledge that
    Every year to date of celebrations, Armagh centre- this route- is dead by 6pm. There are no activities. There are few businesses open. There is nothing to stay in the centre for. Their is no history of people staying in the town centre. This year the last council event is scheduled to end at 4.15pm. We don’t expect people to just disappear, but there was NOTHING to indicate or nothing different to suggest that the town centre would be any different this year than in the past.
    If people protest or create disorder every piece of factual evidence illustrates very clearly they are travelling specifically to create that disorder.

    At this stage we would request people step back and attempt to lower tensions. We will do our bit. The event has obeyed every legal obligation, and more; it has engaged; it has done everything that Irish Nationalism asks our community to do- even though this ISNT a contentious area- and as I have explained we were able to factually illustrate the low impact on other events, commerce and travel. We have done EVERYTHING always asked of us. Everyone needs to step back, show some tolerance whilst also sending a clear message that threats of disorder will not be permitted to dictate public life, and accept the sincerity of the band.

    Cormeen Rising Sons of William will being working immediately with the council for the future. As we stated in our Parades Commission submission:-

    “Cormeen fully believe that their event on St Patrick’s Day is a journey that will ultimately lead to full inclusion within the Armagh City and District Council sponsored range of events. It has progressed over the past few years, and has undoubtedly led many to expressing an affinity with St Patrick never before acknowledged. Following the conclusion of this year’s event Cormeen will be requesting a meeting with ACDC to discuss the future. “

  • changeisneeded

    “Multi-coloured bunting and a bland half-hearted attempt at an American style parade makes the event farcical.
    I agree Quincy.it will get us no where.

    “At this stage we would request people step back and attempt to lower tensions”

    Good, don’t be forcing a British marching band through an Irish town on st paddys day…

  • changeisneeded

    You can adhere to whatever British law youse want it doesn’t make it right.
    No Surrender right Quincy , for God and Ulster.
    Pack of marching wanna be military thugs, that’s all youse are.

  • JR

    I saw Jim Wells’ letter to the Irish news. I never know someone could be so offended by the sight of a flag with Downpatrick on one side and Dún Pádraig on the other. On the same day that one DUP man is going to Croke park to support his constituents in the All Ireland Hurling final, Others are staying away from the Downpatrick parade and taking a hissy fit at seeing Downpatrick written in its Original form.

    I was in Armagh at the ríth on Saturday and saw a number on Union Flags with Faugh a Ballagh on them and was just thinking to myself how nice it was to see the Unionist community use the Cúpla Focal.

  • Quincey Dougan

    Armagh is an open and inclusve town for all. Not my words, the words of Sinn Fein. It either is or isnt.

    We arent claiming ownership of Armagh. Simply saying we are happy to share it, it belongs to us all. And only even doing so after looking in detail at every single aspect to satisfy ourselves that it will impinge on no-one else.

    If the day as a whole passes the way it does every other year this will be a non-event. If there is disorder it will be because people are breaking with their own practises and traditions on the day, and spefically creating disorder.

  • Quincey Dougan

    JR i agree with you.
    Is fearr Gaeilge briste, na Bearla cliste

  • Drumlins Rock

    was just about to say the same Quincey, well cept for the Irish bit. I think Jim Wells is being petty on this one,

    Lets hope you there is no need to “Faugh a Ballagh” tomorrow night.

  • changeisneeded

    Jr
    Pity the Gaelic on those flags is spelt wrong

    “We arent claiming ownership of Armagh. ”
    Lies , I know the mindset of these loyalist bands and thats exactly what you are doing. Last year I watched an loyalist band with “our orange feet marched your streets” any new catchy slogans this year Quincy..
    No surrender.

  • JR

    Well DR and Quincy, at least we agree on something.

    I have to say I am tempted to go to Armagh on Saturday evening (without Wife and Family) to see what the fuss is about.

    Although I remain suspicious of the motives behind this parade and am opposed to it on the grounds that I think there is a risk that Families leaving the st patricks day parade will be stuck in heavy traffic with Busses of Bandsmen and could get stuck in the middle if trouble makers decide to try to kick off.

    I have to hand it to you Quincy, you have been saying the right things in the run up to it though.

  • Mike the First

    babarino

    “Loyalists wanting to celebrate their Irish nationality isn’t a problem. As an atheist celebrant of St. Patrick’s they have more a right, if they’re christian, than I. Fly the tricolour and the union jack, the former inclusive of Orange identity, the latter of St. Patrick and Irish identity, in an ideal world.”

    Quite a few misconceptions in such a short space of text there! I don’t think they’re wanting to celebrate their “Irish nationality” – if they’re subcribing to an Irish identity, it’s very likely to be one that isn’t a nationality. Indeed it could be some of them don’t even use the label “Irish” but being Northern Irish still see themselves as of the island and connected with St Patrick.

    Saying the union flag is “inclusive of the Orange identity” – *wince*. We should be long past labelling the British identity in NI as “Orange”.

    And referring to the tricolour as being “[representative] of St. Patrick and Irish identity” – representative of St Patrick, how, exactly? The union flag is actually the one with a symbol with a direct connection in name to representing St Patrick, how does the tricolour do so? And not representative of all Irish identity, clearly – Republic of Ireland/nationalist Irish identity (“Irish nationality” might work here!) perhaps.

  • changeisneeded

    Should have said the band wore a tshirt with “our orange feet marched your streets”slogan on it..
    Care to explain that Quincy..

  • Quincey Dougan

    JR, id be happy to have a chat with you if you make it.

    Change- the band scene is not some marginal extremist movement. Its massive. There are over twice as many bands in Northern Ireland than there are GAA teams for example. With scale comes people of all ages and backgrounds and views. Occasionally someone will do or say something that the rest find reprehensible or simply unproductive – im sure similies in that respect can be drawn with the GAA.

    You can print a t-shirt in 2 mins via the internet. It does not signifiy a universal attitude or view. It also has to be acknowledged that 99% of what happens here is reactionary- im sure you may have heard the occasional commentator saying ‘No orange feet on our street’ for instance.

    No excuses though. It shouldnt exist and many work proactively to make sure it doesnt.

    But this is a cycle. We need to break that cycle.

    This year Cormeen are trying. But it would appear that some dont want it broken.

  • Reader

    SK: There are two parades in Armagh this year. One seeks to bring people together, the other seeks to emphasise that which sets us apart.
    There are many parades in Northern ireland this month. Some of them are nationalist in ethos, some of them are cross-community, a few are unionist in ethos.
    If you draw a small enough circle on the map you will find an imbalance to complain about. So, draw a bigger circle. Include Downpatrick. That will make you much happier.

  • “Last year I watched an loyalist band with “our orange feet marched your streets””

    changeisneeded, could that have been Ballycastle?

    The Chairman [Padraig McShane] said: “I didn’t refer to the minority as moronic. I referred to individuals as moronic.”

    He then held up a picture said to have been taken on the Twelfth in Ballycastle which showed an individual wearing a t-shirt which said ‘Our Orange Feet Marched Your Streets’.

    Have a look to see if you appear in the album 🙂

  • Reader

    Changeisneeded: If they are born in Ireland they are Irish
    Changeisneeded: Good, don’t be forcing a British marching band through an Irish town on st paddys day
    Make your mind up.

  • changeisneeded

    Here leave the GAA out of it dude. They don’t march where they are not wanted so there is no comparision.
    You have an uphill battle Quincy thanks to you your loyal bands recent bad behaviour, In the last year I have seen it first hand on the streets and on the web, I have seen members of your loyal bands threatening to kill people because they are guess what……Fenians..Why should we trust you now? So a wanna be British loyalist march through armagh on st pats is not excuseable.
    Ps. I reckon the pulse forum is a good way to see what these marching thugs think like. Wouldn’t you agree? Ha

  • changeisneeded

    Reader sorry that should have read “wannabe British”

  • changeisneeded

    Nevin , it sure was. Seems your camera has an orange filter..

  • tacapall

    I for one will be heading to Armagh to watch your parade Quincey it will be interesting to hear what type of music the bands will play and how you portray your Irish identity. This is a step in the right direction for the PUL community and hopefully as you said in the next few years agreement can be made to accommodate your views and expressions of identity which I agree with you should not be covered up or not heard.

    A St Patrick’s day parade without a Tricolor, where would you get it but Ireland but all the same I hope it passes off without incident and leads to a better understanding of your culture from people from my tradition.

  • “Nevin , it sure was.”

    Well, are you in the album? My camera is filter free! You’ll find the bold Padraig in another NALIL collection – in Bushmills – and a sign welcoming visitors to Londonderrykeighan!

    My friend Kevin took some photos of the Rathlin part of the 2010 Royal visit. The Manor House’s very own Basil Fawlty was nowhere to be seen – but I’ve spared his blushes. Maybe you know Basil too ..

  • changeisneeded

    Aww shucks I’m not in there. ! I was up the town just outside the northern bank when the aforementioned band went past..
    Haven’t been over to Rathlin in a year or 2 now, l

  • changeisneeded

    Meant to say its a lovely place , and I have respect for your man Padraigh , least hes honest unlike most politicians .
    Well I’m off over to Armagh for a weekend with the extended family and I’m hoping to avoid the riot squad..
    See yall there..

  • babyface finlayson

    changeisneeded
    “They can define all they want. If they are born in Ireland they are Irish”.
    And if you were born in Ireland then moved to England say and live all your life there, would you be Irish end of story. Your definition is too narrow.
    Are all those St Paddy’s Day parades in the rest of the world cases of false consciousness? The cheek of them, daring to celebrate something which is the sole preserve of Irish Catholics.

  • SK

    I see unionist politicians are boycotting the Downpatrick parade because of a bit of gaeilige on a paper flag.

    The unionist community has quite a bit of evolving to do.

  • Mike the First

    SK

    Don’t judge the entire unionist community by some DUP politicians.

  • Mick Fealty

    Good man Tac… Can you write about your experience for us when you get back?

  • USA

    Mick,
    “Second, by want powers do you believe they could have confined them to the village of Killylea? The only legislation that conferred power like that was the PTA. Do you think the PA was set to promote the extinction of the Orange tradition from Northern Ireland? “

    C’mon Mick, I didn’t say “confine” them, they have been marching in the village for 5 years or more. By citing public order concerns the PC and PSNI could have kept it that way. To throw the PTA at me is silly.

    “Do you think the PA was set to promote the extinction of the Orange tradition from Northern Ireland? ?”
    Ahhh, no!. That is a stupid question. (Got that from GA).
    I have never questioned their right to march. But with rights come responsibilities. The council and others have tried to act responsibly.
    Also, how come the OO say these marching bands are not part of the OO, yet now they are part of “Orange culture”. Talk about having your Jaffa Cake and eating it?

    Mr.Quincey Dougan:
    “This is a non-contentious parade route.”
    Having Orange marching bands belting out their hate fest in Armagh on St.Patrick’s Day is contententious. It creates tension. It is now contentious.

    “If people protest or create disorder every piece of factual evidence illustrates very clearly they are
    travelling specifically to create that disorder.

    Indeed, i’m sure your bandsmen will be bused in from towns and hamlets in many far flung corners. For you to try and deflect responsibility onto others is arrogant. Nothing has even happened yet and you are already pointing the finger at “themuns”.

    The Council Parade is open to everyone, you chose not to participate. Your demonstration is only for pro British Loyalists, you said as much yourself.

    With rights come responsibilites. Your “alternative” parade is exclusionary, irresponsible and divisive. This is a tactic well worn in the past by Paisley and his ilk…..and look how that worked out. Your actions indicate to me you have no interest in community relations, you seem uncompromising.

  • Drumlins Rock

    USA,
    when was the last time you were in Armagh?
    do you know the parade route?
    do you know the bands attending the parade?
    have you ever been to a parade you label “hate fest” ?
    is the council parade truely open ?
    who is creating the tension hyping things up?

    The route of the parade is not contentious 364 (this yr 365) days of the year, have a loyalist band parade on St Patricks Day has never been contentious before, any “celebrations” at pubs will be streets away, and alternative access is easily available to almost everyone, as I said before the only hassle will be access to a few cash machines!

  • babarino

    This debate is quite tiresome. Unionists enclaves stick up flags to mark territory all year round. Nationalists turn a blind eye to this and unionists claim exclusion over the use of the Irish language, or on the one day tricolours are flown. Were Irish nationalists to get into the flag ‘culture’ nonsense with the same gusto flags would be a very profitable business to get into.

    Good luck to Darach MacDonald running against Malachai O’ Doherty for the ‘Fenian friends of the Union’ award.

  • USA

    DR,
    when was the last time you were in Armagh?
    About 18 months ago.

    do you know the parade route?
    By the green in the town center where I have seen cricket played over the years.

    do you know the bands attending the parade?
    Yes, here is the Cormeen crew blocking another road.

    have you ever been to a parade you label “hate fest” ?
    Yes. Been to the “Field” on the 12th too.
    is the council parade truely open ?
    They invited the Cormeen band, didn’t they.

    who is creating the tension hyping things up?

    Hmmm…Let me see…How about the 40 Loyalist bands being bussed into Armagh town center on St.Patrick’s night ?

    Would have been much better to make a show of cross community participation with one or two bands playing appropirate tunes in the parade. That goes a lot further toward mutual understanding and appreciation than this pre planned cynical move.
    I doubt Mr.Dougan is truely genuine about his motives, or he would not have initiated this devisive manouvre.

  • between the bridges

    USA given there are no words and that many pieces of music traverse the ‘divide’ pray do tell what is an ‘appropirate tune’ ?

  • Mick Fealty

    It’s certainly disruptive USA… Let’s hope the good folk of Armagh City retain a sense of proportion tomorrow night…

  • Drumlins Rock

    baba,
    speaking of flags, the tricolours and bunting in Dungannon has the brightest orange I have ever seen on them, it is quite blinding if you look too long, not sure it is quite what the republican’s forefather had im mind. Dosn’t really annoy me btw, might even call in to watch the AOH parade if im free, actually would much rather watch it than the imported american tripe, as for batton twirling gazoo bands…. I just shudder.

    USA, i’m sorry I questioned you knowledge of the area, it seems your posts are not simply reflecting ignorance but petty bigotry.

  • Drumlins Rock

    disruptive of who Mick? that part of town is usually deserted at night, even St Patricks night, hardly a soul about, in fact more people would be disrupted in Killylea if the parade was there. Some traffic will have to detour slightly, but a mile or so tops, maybe you thinking of the cash machines?

  • An Ceide

    I attended many st patricks day parades in armagh during my teenage years, lots of young teenagers will be loading up on the drink intending to have a great night out as I often did, the only problem this time is the big orange flashing light that will distract immature drunken fools, queue lots of ugly scenes on utv/bbcni of the psni getting hammered by bottles/glasses/bricks whilst the orange parade walk on by celebrating st patrick whilst carrying their banners commemorating a certain william of orange?

    or will they have nice new banner’s with their patron saint on them?

  • between the bridges

    An ceide it is not an orange parade, it is a st Patrick’s day band parade by the largest movement in the community arts sector, and it will have the largest number of bands at any parade on the day. OO and band parades are as similar and as different as hurling and ‘football’.

    bannerettes will vary from band to band but most will carry the band name and crest, and a lot of bands will carry the cross/satire of st Patrick flag the same as they do for every parade (including the12th)

  • Mick Fealty

    Of the status quo Drumlin…

  • JR

    I see you have more concern for the population of Kileylea than Rasharkin there DR.

    If the motivation to move this parade is purely to have a bigger venue DR, BTB, Quincey. Why is that not the appropriate solution in Rasharkin?

  • Quincey Dougan

    No JR, scale was not the motivation. St Patrick was the motivation.

  • An Ceide

    ok fair do’s btb, but try explaining that to all the full drunk teeny bop’s wrecking about armagh on the same evening, I personally think a better experiment would be including a couple of bands from the unionist community joining in with the official day time celebrations.

    Instead, I see this turning out like the holy lands, there will be a few flash point areas were the police are getting hammered while the bands march by.

    I wonder how much it will cost to police the parade in armagh compared to the cost of policing it in Killylea?

  • USA

    DR,
    You’re welcome.

  • Billy Pilgrim

    Quincey

    ‘St Patrick was the motivation.’

    I’ve been hearing a number of restaurants in the city have had mass cancellations of bookings, and most of the pubs, instead of looking forward to the busiest business day of the year, are shutting early. I’ve also been hearing that loads of organisations, sports clubs, businesses and so on, have pulled out of the afternoon parade.

    THIS was the motivation.

    Congratulations. You and your boys have won.

    Shame on you.

  • between the bridges

    BP do you hear these voices often? as they say the proof will be in the pudding, a wee bit of manners all round and it will be a lovely evening…

  • Drumlins Rock

    Billy, the afternoon parade is over several hours before the band parade, starting and ending in different parts of the town, only one street of both parades overap ( btw it is strange that the “cross community” parade starts and end in two very nationalist areas of a mixed town ) anyone who attends the afternoon parade will even be aware the other one is happening. As for the pubs, they also are nowhere near the parade, possibly the adverse publicity by SF would have deterred some but if they had of said nothing most would have got on with their night without any hassle whatsoever.

  • Billy Pilgrim

    If only the Taigs had ‘manners.’ If only ‘had of said nothing.’

    People are fleeing Armagh.

    You should be ashamed.

  • between the bridges

    BP do give it a rest and stop been such a drama queen maybe they are ‘fleeing’ the scout parade…

  • “You should be ashamed.”

    BP, why are you ignoring requests for calm from Conor Murphy and others?