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…




Mick is founding editor of Slugger. He has written papers on the impacts of the Internet on politics and the wider media and is a regular guest and speaking events across Ireland, the UK and Europe. Twitter: @MickFealty