Head of the Orange Order addresses the upper house in Dublin…

So two paint attacks on Orange Halls, and a bit of post parade clashing down near the Short Strand might be considered fairly mild compared to how the Orange marching season has been ‘celebrated’ in past years.

But today the head of the Orange Drew Nelson is in Dublin to address that most gentile of parliamentary houses Seanad Eireann. His address will consist of responses by the main party groups, including Fine Gael, Fianna Fail and Labour and a two minute presentation…

Here’s Henry McDonald:

The Irish senate chairman, Paddy Burke, said the visit by the Orangemen to Dublin would build understanding about the order.

Afterwards, the delegation will meet Enda Kenny.

The group will include Grand Master Edward Stevenson, Deputy Grand Master Rev Alastair Smyth and the grand masters of the four border counties, Donegal, Cavan, Leitrim and Monaghan.

Members of Seanad Éireann (the Irish senate) unanimously agreed last week to a recommendation by its committee on procedure and privileges to Nelson’s address.

Senator Burke said he was looking forward to welcoming Nelson to Leinster House.

“This historic visit and address by the secretary of the Grand Orange Order is most welcome at this time,” he said.

“I strongly believe that it is another step on the path to sustained peace and reconciliation on our island.

“It also presents an opportunity for our people to learn and build understanding about the Orange Order.”

Updatetext of the speech available on the Grand Orange Lodge of Ireland’s website.

It’s starting shortly here, if you want to follow the whole proceedings…




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  • “The more Protestants understand the benevolent nature of the southern state”

    weidm7, I thought the ‘tyranny of a majority’ was just the sort of thing that generated freemopery in Northern Ireland 😉

  • williewombat

    throughout this thread have heard a lot of demonising of the OO in general terms little in specifics what is it that is so offensive then is the the clothes, regailia, bowler hats, the atriculation of a legitimate pro union political position on behalf of their members, their religion, their legitimate opposition to Roman Catholic and other reformed doctrine, their ability to unite people across a large number of protestant denominations, their provision of facilities for their community, their banners, their music their history their insistance on civil and religious freedom and their celebration of events in history that acheived that, their resistance to immoral political correctness which doesnt equate tolerance with complete abandonment of core believes, which immediatly takes action against any member convicted of criminal activity which hasn`t been a participant in the murder, shooting and bombing campaigns which many now lauded were. The stench of hypocracy from some contributors on this thread stinks me thinks they are wolves in sheeps clothing shouting peace peace when really they advocate demonisation and war against those they don` agree with

  • “Is the sdlp included in this? So far you have SF, Irish Labour and FF and FG.”

    t_t, some liberal Unionists were also players but, as in 60s, they probably didn’t appreciate at the time the game that was being played out. Ditto for some of the other players.

    It was an SDLP elected representative who explained to me how changes to policing decisions here could be effected via the Department of Foreign Affairs in Dublin. And this from a party that pontificated on accountability!

    In case you haven’t noted the nuance in ‘elements’, officials from the Department of Justice have been a lot less sanguine about embracing paramilitaries than those in the Department of Foreign Affairs.

  • tyrone_taggart


    “immediatly takes action against any member convicted of criminal activity which hasn`t been a participant in the murder, shooting and bombing campaigns which many now lauded were.”

    What action do they take? Gusty Spence was a member of the OO?

  • williewombat

    you seem to be asking a question suspect he wasn`t particularly after conviction for murder but I am open to evidence regarding this. Gusty Spence doesn`t appear to tick many boxes for OO membership but as I say perhaps you have evidence or is that just a wild guess to suit your own predudices.
    I have seen an up to date OO rulebook and it categorically states anyone convicted by the courts of a criminal offence is automatically expelled also prior to conviction in court a precautionary suspension is issued for any serious accusations recently I did see this was enacted against Mark Harbinson in Lisburn for offences he committed and was subsequently found guilty of.

  • tyrone_taggart


    Robert Bates (“Shankill Butcher”) was a member of the OO.

  • “understand the benevolent nature of the southern state”

    The ‘southern state’ features in part 2 of my latest NALIL blog, weidm7; fortunately, members of the Diaspora (and others) find their way here despite the machinations of Dublin and Belfast 😉

  • “Robert Bates (“Shankill Butcher”) was a member of the OO.”

    t_t, you’ll find folks like this in the GAA and in the churches, possibly even in government. Isn’t it a wonderful world we live in?

  • williewombat


    your scraping the barrel if you think the OO supported the shankill butchers in anyway i know nationalists never had any problem voting in their 100s of thousands for active sectarian Republican phsycopaths
    With all that support from the OO its amazing how loyalist paramilatries never received any electoral support with the exceptions of a few small areas of Belfast they had to gerrymander the make up of stormont with inflated numbers of MLAs to try and get PUP and UDP representation and even then the UDP didn`t make it
    I must admit tho with some of the butchery that went on in the 70s and 80s I`m surprised more didn`t get behind the paramilitaries on the loyalist / unionist side to reflect the support given to the republican terrorists within the Nationalist population.

  • williewombat

    Nevin they are still glorifying terrorists in some parts of the GAA with the recent presentation of medals to youngsters in pomeroy probably involved some of the offended resident protesters against OO parades in pomeroy hypocracy you couldn`t make it up.

  • tyrone_taggart


    “your scraping the barrel if you think the OO supported the shankill butchers”

    Bates name is included on a banner of a Orange Lodge on the Shankill Road, called Old Boyne Island Heroes.

    “an easy-going, decent fellow, and as far as the Lodge is concerned, a man of good-standing”
    Peter Taylor “Loyalists”

  • tyrone_taggart

    t_t, you’ll find folks like this in the GAA

    True. I don’t think anyone in the GAA said that republicans was excluded?

  • williewombat

    The GAA definitely doesn`t exclude republicans in fact under its constitution you have to be a nationalist/Republican to be in the GAA that so called non political sporting body when it comes to funding etc.
    Nothing wrong with being a nationalist or Republican of course unless you believe that murdering or unlawful violence especially against your neighbours or the lawful authorities is ok. In fact as a sporting body working with young people and entertaining those who share their enthusiasm for the game they certainly seem to do a very good job. As long as they deal properly with those who want to use them as a vehicle for their sectarian and unlawful agenda as was the case in Pomeroy recently they deserve the support of the whole community.

  • sonofstrongbow

    “sos knowledge (of the Irish Republic) is a tad inaccurate”. Lol.

    Hopping (mad?) the Border’s response to the fact that many CofI churches in the Republic have closed is to note two, yes two, CofI buildings.

    He denies that Anglican churches have closed after 1922 I wonder who makes up these vibrant living congregations given that the Protestant community was decimated following the emergence of the Free (for some) State?

    Perhaps if he was to leave the ghetto now and again and have a look around he may get a clearer picture of his beloved Republic.


    You asked for further examples of the treatment of Protestants in the Republic. I would draw your attention to events such as the Dunmanway Massacre and disappearances (during a time of ‘truce’), the ‘Clare Librarian’ scandal, the burning of the Ballyconree Orphanage and the use of Ne Temere in the Republic (given the force of the state by the judgement of the Irish ‘Chief Justice’ in the Tilson v Tilson case). The refusal to accept a Trinity University degree, it was deemed a ‘Protestant University’, for state employee applicants.

    However I suspect that you would counter that these were mere aberrations or clearing out ‘informers’, or any other of the standard Republican replies.

    And the Protestant community’s response? They kept their heads down and resolved to be good citizens of the new state, albeit it was not one of their choice (a marked difference in approach to the one adopted by Catholics in Northern Ireland).

    Even so the Irish state’s pettiness continued. When southerners wrote to BuckIngham Palace to express condolences on the death of the King in 1936 the Free State government complained. On the formation on the Republic in 1949 some again wrote lamenting the breaking of the last connection to the Monarchy (the CofI had changed the prayers for the sovereign during its services to prayers for the Irish President).

    The Irish government again complained when the Palace replied to the correspondents and demanded that the letters be sent to Leinster House to be read and then passed on. This resulted in the Irish Government representative in London being called in to be told by the Royal Secretary that “gentlemen don’t open other gentlemens’ letters”.

    Back to Hoppy; now having my own Republican online stalker I feel I’ve truly arrived. Thank you Slugger!

  • PaulT

    “……..their legitimate opposition to Roman Catholic and other reformed doctrine…..”

    I think that’s the problem right there,

  • PeterBrown

    Paul T

    It is not the opposition that is the problem – after all the Catholic Church has recently reiterated the opposite about reformed churches but I assume that they aren’t going to be demonised – but how the oppostition manifests itself.

    If it is within the Order’s own rules of maintaining civility it is an issue of freedom of speech and should be cherished, if it is not then the Order and on occasion the authorities need to deal with it.

  • “the grand masters of the four border counties, Donegal, Cavan, Leitrim and Monaghan”

    No one AFAIK has drawn attention to the absence of the Northern Ireland CGMs ie apart from the history this was essentially a southern state affair.

  • The OO’s problems are largely self-inflicted – due to its own anarchic power structure it gets blamed for the misbehaviour of its members and hangers-on, but has little effective sanction against them. I have been saying for years that if the OO leadership had come out straight after the Ormeau Road incident and said given credible assurances that it would never happen again, then a lot of trouble could have been avoided. But the OO leadership is (intentionally) weak – it cannot control what seems at times to be little more than a mob.

    There should be no problem in principle with allowing the OO to hold public demonstrations – just as there should be no problem with Gay Pride or St Patrick’s Day. This requires the GOL to stop passing the buck and take the lead in enforcing its own rules – in particular the one about “conduct unbecoming an Orangeman”.

  • Greenflag

    The Orange Order is just as backward as the RC Church and other revenue streaming religions , Heaven magicians one and all . Why not let them wear their funny hats and sashs -Shure it’s great fun remembering the good old Victorian days when men were men and women knew their place and 4 year old children were run up chimneys to keep the houses of the rich nice and warm .

    No harm was done in the OO man’s visit . Whats the fuss ? Could have been worse . Could have been the Pope or the the new man Mueller who is now the Pope’s Rottweiler appointed to keep order in the midst of scandals , and then those disobedient American nuns etc etc etc

  • The fact that Nelson in his Dublin Senate speech felt he had to assure Dublin that any OO parade there ‘would not be triumphant’ is a de facto admission that this would be the exception to the normal trule for NI marches. Drumcree Whiterock Ardoyne were on his mind there. So we have it from the horse’s mouth now, at last.

  • salgado

    “The fact that Nelson in his Dublin Senate speech felt he had to assure Dublin that any OO parade there ‘would not be triumphant’ is a de facto admission that this would be the exception to the normal trule for NI marches.”

    It’s not really. Though it does admit that some are triumphant, which is probably more than you’d usually get from the OO.

  • He might regret using those words as it could be held against him. the rank and file would wish he hadn’t said them. I can’t see the Dublin local authority greeting this prospect with much favour, especially after the Love Ulster fiasco.

  • PeterBrown

    Why is this Dublin parade such an issue when dissident republicans who are in a differnt league in I presume everyone’s book are able to march into the centre of Belfast on a Saturday afternoon unhindered?

  • Hopping The Border

    SoS, you state

    (1) “Hopping (mad?) the Border’s response to the fact that many CofI churches in the Republic have closed is to note two, yes two, CofI buildings”

    whilst I was responding to and providing three examples of the fact that your statement

    “Best illustrated by the near derelict Protestant churches in the landscape.”

    is incorrect. Those three churches are but a sample of the many COI churches that are in excellent condition.

    (2) “He denies that Anglican churches have closed after 1922 ”

    Please point out where I stated this.

    (3) Thankfully in the Republic we do not have “ghettos” based on political opinion although I will concede that some live in such conditions based on class divisions, something wholly disgraceful.

    (4) Massage your own ego all you want with fantasies of an online stalker. Do not include me in them.

    I am neither a stalker nor a Republican (at least in the way you appear to understand the term).

  • sonofstrongbow

    Back again Hoppy ( you don’t mind if I call you Hoppy do you)? It’s just that I’m new to this stalker thing and I think a little pet name would be pleasant to use.

    I’m lead to believe that tokens are de rigueur in this situation, should I send a lock of hair or something?

    I do agree with you on what point. You are indeed not a republican, an Irish Nationalist certainly, but most certainly not a republican.

  • Hopping The Border

    “As empty vessels make the loudest sound, so they that have the least wit are the greatest blabbers.”

  • antamadan

    Son of Strongbow: I’m surprised at you.
    I was the ‘Mayo Librarian’ case. Irish nationalists know all the sins of Irish nationalists so well. Would that unionists knew their own sins.