“Republicans should remember that the third colour in the Irish flag is Orange…”

Last Thursday’s The View gave most of the programme over to the vexed issue of parading. It includes a number of noteworthy points. Neil Jarmin points out that the Parades Commission has missed an opportunity offered it by Paddy Ashdown’s Strategic Review of Parading to give it a more robust set of processes (that might give people more realistic expectations, and enable it to field appeals).

As Better Together noted some time back here on Slugger:

…the volume of complaint appears to be given more weight than the intrinsic wrongs of the acts themselves. We need dialogue on how to make the PC operate more consistently, coherently and impartially.

The headline quote is from David Hume of the Orange Order. Given the multiplicity of views held by Republicans even towards that flag, it may be an appeal likely (in the short term at least) to fall upon deaf ears.

Yet there is a danger that in looking to process for answers we forget about the politics of the thing. There are no bureaucratic devices that can address the alienation felt by various communities across Northern Ireland. As Martin Og Meehan notes somewhat sceptically of the latest attempt to cool tempers ahead of the summer..

How the British Police, Elected Politicians and a few others can hope to end centuries of sectarian marches or Political Policing without the input of one of the main protagonist’s in the equation, the Loyal Orders is beyond seasoned observers. Given the fact that these secret societies consistently refuse to speak with residents groups who oppose triumphalist parades. The same observers also cannot understand why most residents were not asked to go to Cardiff in spite of their repeated statements calling for genuine dialogue.

Of greater concern is the degree to which the two main political parties, as pointed out in the Dail last week by Fianna Fail leader Micheál Martin invite deeper scepticism by their tendency to publicly ignore either the law and/or their own already considerable powers to hold the police directly accountable

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  • Canny See It Sur

    A recurring opinion but still perfectly valid nonetheless……

    We’ll see if the PSNI take the same softly softly approach to nationalist protesters that they took with the loyalist protesters over the Christmas and New Year period.

    At the end of the day, just because loyalists drum this up as “cultural” doesn’t make it so. All parades should be banned where they aren’t wanted.

    I love the fact that the “Queen’s Highway” always crops up as an argument but surely even that is an irrelevance if it means that one community can close off the roads so they can march down it.

  • Mick Fealty

    Devil’s advocate head on: who gets to decide what’s cultural and what’s not? What’s worthy of banning, and what’s not? And finally, would you ban Irish speech where it is not wanted? If not, why not?

  • anne warren

    The headline quote is from David Hume of the Orange Order.
    “Republicans should remember . . .”
    Is that an order like “All students should remember to hand in their homework?”
    Is it an obligation “All passengers should have the proper ticket?” with an implied threat if one does not have the ticket?
    Is it an implied condition like “All parents should be at the meeting if they received the invitation?”
    Whatever it is, in this day and age should it not be reciprocal?
    Orangemen should remember the first colour in the Irish flag is Green.

  • ArdoyneUnionist

    Anne is getting to the core of the issue.

    I did not see any threat ether implied or suggested?

    I think it was a reaffirming that well-worn out rhetoric from republicans that the flag of the Irish republic is about each tradition living equally??? But there again Ann has put me right in that regard.

    “Orangemen should remember the first colour in the Irish flag is Green”.

    An Ireland of equals were all our children and traditions are valued and treaded equally, not on your shillelagh.

  • Mick Fealty

    Back of bus Orangeman (and ladies)?

  • Ashdown’s ‘consultation’ report was a non-starter. It relied on a perfect world. Asked to explain step by step, it collapsed. Academically or theoretically possible, but completely lacking in practicality.

    Think GARC was invited to go to Cardiff, but chose not to accept invite – though list seems to have been a bit of a PSNI pick and mix so that could be wrong.

    How you consider another’s culture is often a projection of how you view your own. If that is the case, Republican’s have a good deal more to think about than a flag.

  • Dec

    The most tedious aspect of this interminable debate is how the OO and bands, ably supported by some commentators, continue to portray themselves as somehow oppressed. 5 minutes observance of the upcoming Tour of the North political rally will quickly disavow the neutral of any such fallacy.

  • BarneyT

    Mick: I’ll bite.
    Banning Irish. Short answer: No
    Well, as someone who would like to see Irish embraced by all due to its historical significance to both communities (it appears), I believe the use of Irish to alienate, disadvantage or brandish identity is vulgar, particularly when it is delivered from someone with a mere smattering. – “cupla focal”

    Electing to use your own native Irish language in a government chamber (on the Island if Ireland) is a right however and it should be exercised consistently with sufficient resources in place to allow for translation and the message to be understood. Anything else is obstructive and non-cooperative.

    If minimal Irish is flung across the table to serve no other purpose but to assert linguistic supremacy, it serves the same purposes as the most triumphalist orange marches. Rather than ban the language, I would implore those that fall victim to it to take it upon themselves to learn the language and offer sufficient retort.

  • Canny See It Sur

    Devil’s advocate head on: who gets to decide what’s cultural and what’s not? What’s worthy of banning, and what’s not? And finally, would you ban Irish speech where it is not wanted? If not, why not

    I agree with what you’re saying but you have to ask if the KKK a cultural group simply because they were like minded and there was a large number of them? I think we’d come to a quick NO as an answer.

    It’s easy in this sense that parades through areas that are not wanted in those areas can not be described as cultural as they wouldn’t add anything but bitterness and hostility to the area.

    This of course doesn’t just fall on the Orange Order – we had to endure the “celebration” of the UVF just recently which is one of the most absurd sights* I’ve witnessed in post-GFA northern Ireland. The celebration of the potential armed insurrection against a democratic decision which then led to the undemocratic process of partition. It wouldn’t surprise me if the current crop of flegtards would want some degree of partition again. The problem is you can only partition so many times.

    Why would you ban a language? That implies that a language can only be used by one side and not the other? Would we then lose the freedom of speech if one language or another was banned?

    *the most absurd being a grand wizard ‘condoning’ violence after a parade was stopped by police.

  • Kensei

    Mick

    You are doing a classic straw man. Could you point to the Nationalists and Republicans arguing for an outright ban on orange parades?

    It is rare (though not unknown) in a democracy to see an outright ban on a parade or demonstration that would completely violate freedom of assembly. What is not most definitely not rare is to see restrictions placed on demonstrations or assemblies that limit the demonstration on the axis of time, geography or cost. Whether or not you believe in a “Nationalist” or “Loyalist” area, the right of local residents to protest at construction to activities near where they live is also very well established, particularly in the UK. Try organising a concert somewhere the residents are opposed and see how you get on.

    What is being asked is for an amended route, either in geography, time or both. Nationalism could get really pissy about having to pay for parades and could probably do a lot of damage via blocking funding but by and large don’t.

    The OO could also modify some of its positions in an attempt to nullify the allegeric reaction it engenders within Nationalism. It could very loudly proclaim a new oath (even if they don’t have one now!) that addressed concerns. they could put in place disciplinary measures for those that, I dunno, provoke confrontation at Churches and apply them – even if it is “the bands” they can refuse to parade with them. They can stigmatism them. That works wonders. They could reach out to the communities and try to do some charity and cross community work. tHEY DON’T

    This is not about “culture”. It is not about “freedom of expression”. Please do not continue propaganda that suggests it is.

  • Morpheus

    I think it is important to separate the bands from the OO when it comes to parades.

    Thousands and thousands of people do not go out on the 12th to watch the guys with sashs and bowler hats relive the glory days when the other side knew their place. The masses go out for the camaraderie, the spectacle, the music, fun in the sun – that’s the cultural aspect of the 12th.

    The vast majority of bands do great work – they give the kids something to do and they teach important skills like discipline and teamwork. That volunteer work is overshadowed by the knuckle-draggers of this world who think what happened last summer is acceptable.

    I’ve said it before and I will say it again – the bands should come together and rent a massive field, a-la-Glastonbury? They could charge a nominal entrance fee to cover costs and then set up stages, stalls and marquees to highlight local music, products, food, services and charities. All the bands could have competitions and play for the families who want to enjoy the music with a summer picnic in a safe, stewarded environment. That way:
    • The 12th can turn into a family day
    • The bands are highlighted for their music
    • The hard work of the band’s volunteers – who are keeping the kids off the streets – is showcased
    • Northern Ireland doesn’t come to a standstill
    • It can be policed much easier by the PSNI
    • No more flash points
    • Everyone can get on with their lives knowing they have a choice of going to the event or not
    • Northern Ireland is presented in a positive light in the world’s media
    • Tourists will come and spend their money in Northern Ireland helping our economy

    Maybe even in a few short years a Catholic or two may venture in for the music then bands could come from ROI, Scotland, England etc. for the competitions and before you know the people of Northern Ireland have and a cultural event we can all call our own

  • ArdoyneUnionist

    Just a quick clarification is it the fact that a band played outside the chapel or is it the fact that they walked around in circles while doing so???

  • BarneyT

    Morpheus….that sounds grand…and it would remedy many of the interface and confrontational issues presently. However, its a 12th demonstration, and sadly I do not believe there are many (from the “guys with sashs and bowler hats”) that would adopt your festival approach and would prefer to retain the confrontational aspect of the marching as a metaphor for the battle and defeat of their enemy.

  • I’ve always wondered why the same two teams always showed up at NI’s premier sporting event year after year. It was always the Portadown Orange Order and the Garvaghy Road Residents Committee. Why couldn’t the Lower Ormeau Residents Committee or the Markets Residents Committee go for a change? Or a different branch of the OO? In the States we rarely have the same two teams show up two years in a row at the Super Bowl, or the World Series, or the NBA Championships or the Stanley Cup Playoffs.

    Also there is a long tradition of color blindness by both unionists and nationalists regarding the third color in the tricolor. It was always said to be gold.

  • Mick Fealty

    AU,

    You missed out ‘the tune they played’… Or “was it the reaction of the hangers on to the whole thing being videoed?”

    Ken, et al,

    What I detect here is an absence rather than too much politics. As I’ve said in the big sleep post (http://goo.gl/isrEL), “it remains the job of politics to look for new ground and new battles, rather than finding new ways to endlessly replicate the old…”

    That applies (albeit differently) to both sides in this dispute. Having thoroughly undermined confidence in the PSNI (by effectively disowning their own responsibilities for its performance), neither the DUP nor SF have many places to go politically this summer.

    As TD points out above, whatever proposals the PC comes up with are likely to be undermined by the lack of political will to deal with a problem that banks up votes both for the DUP and SF in what is a marginal constituency with few practical alternatives to the two big ‘establishment’ parties.

    The worse the problem gets, the more people vote for two parties who have no particular answers to the problem of it getting worse. So it gets worse again, and people continue vote for it to get even worse again…

  • sherdy

    AU, – Do you have to work hard to sound so stupid?

  • babyface finlayson

    I’m no fan of the the Orange Order but I think Martin og Meehan’s use of the term ‘secret society’ is a bit misleading.These guys parade up the road week in and week out in plain view.
    Don’t they know how to cut holes in pillow cases?
    Also the common comparison to the KKK seems unfair to me and I am sure the vast majority of OO members would be appalled at such a comparison. Maybe back when they were the ‘peep o day boys’ it would have been valid,but not today.
    Having said that they need serious reform and they need to cut off the connection to provocative bands if they are to have any hope of being seen as a wholly benign organisation.

  • Brian Walker

    Are we getting too hung up on the absurdities of positioning and not paying enough attention to solutions?

    I only ask as I struggle to concentrate on the latest twists. I don’t pretend the understand what’s really going on. Is there any way of differentiating between genuine concerns and posturing? Is it the closer to elected politicians the greater the posturing?

    Is the time coming when the GFA guarantors, the two governments begin to blow the whistle, in particular the British government still responsible for “national security” and raise the parades and peace on the streets to this level and convenes a major negotiation to try to shame them into a deal?

    What many people don’t realise is that much of the sharp end of policing and justice still hasn’t been transferred to Stormont under the national security category..

  • Morpheus

    @babyface finlayson

    “I’m no fan of the the Orange Order but I think Martin og Meehan’s use of the term ‘secret society’ is a bit misleading.”

    Is it though? I think if the OO publically did something to dispel some of the myths about their organisation/rituals then that might go some way to alleviating some of the tension. Google ‘Beyond Closed Doors’ by Paul Malcomson (a former member of the Royal Arch Purple, an elite branch of Orangeism) and see some of the reported rituals.

    The Orange Order is getting almost £4m to develop two interpretative centres in Belfast and County Armagh. Nearly £3m is coming Europe’s Peace Three programme with £1m jointly coming from the Dublin government and the Stormont Executive. What happened to that? Maybe they could use that as way of getting their message out that their raison d’être is not to hate all things Catholic.
    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-northern-ireland-20150841

  • sherdy

    Baby Fin – You have a point about the unfairness of the comparison of the OO to the KKK. But I would imagine the KKK would be more upset.

  • Zig70

    I always thought the orange thing was a reflection of nationalist bigotry, tarring a lot of people with an inappropriate brush. We would be better going back to green white and gold.

  • @Morpheus,

    “I’m no fan of the the Orange Order but I think Martin og Meehan’s use of the term ‘secret society’ is a bit misleading.”

    “Is it though? I think if the OO publically did something to dispel some of the myths about their organisation/rituals then that might go some way to alleviating some of the tension. Google ‘Beyond Closed Doors’ by Paul Malcomson (a former member of the Royal Arch Purple, an elite branch of Orangeism) and see some of the reported rituals.”

    There have been several books published about the Orange Order and Drumcree. The authors no doubt had unnamed as well as named sources. I don’t think that any of these sources turned up dead under mysterious circumstances afterwards like Mr. Collins did in 1999.

    Pardon my ignorance but are you confusing the Royal Arch Purple with the Royal Black Perceptory or is there another marching order out there?.

  • carl marks

    ArdoyneUnionist (profile)
    20 May 2013 at 4:18 pm
    Just a quick clarification is it the fact that a band played outside the chapel or is it the fact that they walked around in circles while doing so???

    Mick here is a major part of the problem, the OO and its supporters live in denial that there is a problem while at the same time taking delight in annoying their catholic/republican neighbours ,
    At Ardoyne the same people who spat ant threw urine filled balloons at primary school girls are the same people who demand the right to walk in formation past the very people they insulted and whose children they attacked,
    Soon the bonfire will go up, they will be adorned with nationalist and catholic flags and symbols ( a few years ago there was a series of suicide by hanging in Ardoyne, the bonfire in Hesketh had a dummy with a rope around it neck bearing the placard “for the Ardoyne swingers) the people who cheer on the 11th night when the tricolour burns are those who walk or play on the 12th,
    I’m sure that Nationalists/Catholics all over the north can relate similar tales, how many OO members or indeed unionist politicians came out and even apologised never mind condemned the shenanigans outside St Pats or St Matthews last year.
    The OO will have to get its house in order if it wants nationalists to treat it any different from the group of triumphalist bigots that it portrays.

  • Reader

    carl marks: At Ardoyne the same people who spat ant threw urine filled balloons at primary school girls are the same people who demand the right to walk in formation past the very people they insulted and whose children they attacked,
    That’s a fairly specific charge. Do you have the names? Or do all Huns look the same to you?

  • Mick Fealty

    Reader,

    I’d only add that it’s the politics we currently have on offer that encourages us ascribe a single moral character to a whole political group…

    If that’s not too getalongerist? Clearly Tories and Labour dislike, hate even, what the other stands for. But they generally fight shy of slagging their voter base because power (and constitutional destiny) turns on your ability to poach players from the other side.

    It always (even after all these years) surprises me when such sentiments are expressed by Republicans, whose apparent raison d’être is to build a new body of citizens equal under the law…

  • carl marks

    Reader (profile)
    21 May 2013 at 8:15 am
    carl marks: At Ardoyne the same people who spat ant threw urine filled balloons at primary school girls are the same people who demand the right to walk in formation past the very people they insulted and whose children they attacked,
    That’s a fairly specific charge. Do you have the names? Or do all Huns look the same to you?
    As i said a major problem is denial, we see the same people, who took part in the disgusting holy cross protest walk and playing on the 12th.
    All Huns (your words not mine) do not look alike to me, i can spot those who scream sectarian abuse at my niece even when they are wearing a sash or a bandsman’s uniform.
    It is amusing that you seem to be claiming that those loyalists who were wt holy cross have nothing to do with the local OO lodge or the local loyalist bands!
    Reader i think you are proving my point!
    Mick Fealty
    Mick you also denying there is no truth in what I said?

  • Kensei

    Mick

    Sorry, no, I’m not letting you elide from “Who defines culture and what gets banned” to “”We have an absence of politics”, free, in a single bound. For politics to work there has to be some agreement on what the problems are. Banning parades has never been a mainstream Nationalist position. We are talking about a reroute of a limited number of parades. That the OO really, really doesn’t like it, or it is a shake up of a previous status quo, or Nationalism might be using the issue as a tactical or strategic maneuver doesn’t really matter. What is proposed is actually fairly limited.

    Secondly, political parties ascribe a single character to groups all the time. The BNP is an almost tautological example. The Tories were treating UKIP that way until it blew up in their face. The “Better Together” campaign routinely gets pretty ugly about “Nats” or worse “CyberNats”. They do it if they think there is some sort of tactical advantage in it, or if they can get away with it without cost. Often they have one part of the party do it while another plays nice.

    Republicans do need to find a better way to talk to and about loyalism. But a lot of the stuff that happens needs condemned and is actually designed to be proactive. So it is a difficult tightrope. But no, we aren’t particularly special, and the demand that Republicans or anyone else here be better politicians than everywhere else is a call doomed to fail.

  • Reader

    carl marks: All Huns (your words not mine) do not look alike to me, i can spot those who scream sectarian abuse at my niece even when they are wearing a sash or a bandsman’s uniform.
    I’m sorry to hear about your niece, but I still think you are turning a general categorisation into specific accusations, which is personally unhealthy and politically unhelpful.
    So, on your point above, I am asking you to be specific.
    How many of each did you recognise? Was it 4 Orangemen and 2 bandsmen or vice versa? Will you be able to recognise them again this year?

  • Mick Fealty

    Ken, the point Neil Jarmin makes in the film is that there needs to be common ground on which to make a case for the withdrawal of a route, or to appeal such a decision.

    Though politics IS important too.

    This Vice film is from 2011 (http://goo.gl/PJ7TG) and is very instructive on the hard reality of the Ardoyne riots: “[I’m rioting?] cause of them Orange bastards walking up that road” explains one youngster.

    Just after the presenter notes “that one seems to be smoking weed, which is fucking hilarious… getting all mellow and then fucking destroying shit..”

    More seriously, as Martin Og Meehan points out, the main actors have little political authority over the rioters, because in the past they used local youngsters (himself included) for even more sinister purposes: http://goo.gl/iulYa

    And more serious still, and this is the real political point for me (http://goo.gl/oWWTZ) “there is a huge gap between what is happening in young people’s lives and what is happening at the top…”

  • Canny See It Sur

    Also the common comparison to the KKK seems unfair to me and I am sure the vast majority of OO members would be appalled at such a comparison. Maybe back when they were the ‘peep o day boys’ it would have been valid,but not today.

    It’s a perfectly valid comparison because both are built along the same lines in order to achieve the same outcomes. ie the elevation of one group of people above another through violence (in the not distant past), triumphalism and ongoing reminders (parades) to those they seek to look down upon.

    It’d be difficult to whether I was talking about the OO or KKK above because whilst they both may not use violence as much as they used to they still do everything else.

    I’m just glad that support for both organisations is fading fast though the OO is still clinging on due to the insecurities of the loyalist population – mainly down to poor leadership within unionism.

  • tacapall

    Got to the part where David Hume tries to justify why the Orange Order refuses to speak to residents groups –

    “There are some members of residents groups when you look at their pedigree and what they might have been involved in, in the past, they (Orange Order) feel in all conscience that they cannot sit down with these people”

    Given the history of the Orange Order and its links to loyalist paramilitaries, you could be forgiven for wondering whats the point in reading or hearing anymore. these people are just hypocrites.

  • babyface finlayson

    Morpheus
    “Google ‘Beyond Closed Doors’ by Paul Malcomson (a former member of the Royal Arch Purple, an elite branch of Orangeism) and see some of the reported rituals.”
    Yes I suppose there is an element of secrecy about the rituals alright, although I think that is more so with the Purple.
    My point is that the open parade of members is hardly conducive to secrecy and the kind of sinister behaviour implied by comparison to the KKK, as suggested by Sherdy above.

  • Mick Fealty

    One of the things that struck me about Peter Osborne’s interview was the focus on parades, which on one level is not at all surprising since that is the unit in which PC makes its decisions.

    But the negative decision against the Orange last year was on foot of the very riot featured in the video featured about (the PC does not make the kind of value judgements some commenters appear to be trying to urge upon them)…

  • carl marks

    We see many faces dotted in the lodge and many more among the bandsmen and the coat trailers,
    And it is disingenuous of you to imply that this is not so.
    Now don’t get me wrong I’m not accusing all OO members of being the type to hurl abuse at school kids, or to put up dummy’s with A noose round their necks to make fun of suicide victims but many will do this and see nowt wrong with it.
    Also i know many unionists and protestants who have nothing but contempt for the OO and the actions of many of its members indeed my in laws are among this group so i feel uncomfortable with the use of the word orange as a collective noun to describe the protestant or unionist population and be informed i never refer to anybody as a Hun (Attila being a exception) I was pointing out that if the OO wants or expects Catholics/nationalists to treat it with more respect it should perhaps try behaving with a bit more respect towards the Catholic/nationalist community, for example when demanding respect for your flag (recent protests) it would be a big help if loyalists (many of whom are OO members) didn’t burn tricolours at every opportunity.

  • Alan N/Ards

    I’m no fan of the OO but babyface has got it right. It is hardly a secret society when you compare it to the IRA, UVF,UDA etc. They are real secret societies. Martin og seems to have memory laspes when talking about secret societies. While the OO has many faults and some obnoxious members we should remember that there are members who are decent and law biding. People like the late David Black the prison warder who was murderd by a secret society was one of these decent orangemen.

  • carl marks

    Alan N/Ards
    Can we also admit that the OO has had many members guilty of sectarian murder and many other terrorist offences!
    While i don’t doubt that their many decent OO members it is important that we remember that it has also had many links with loyalist terror groups in the past.
    Now we can spend time listing them, but it would be better for the sake of debate if we took the obvious as read!
    This along with the behaviour of several lodges and bands when they pass nationalist areas explains the reason for resident groups (anybody claiming that if was the shinners who started the problem has either no knowledge of the history of OO parades going back to when the order was formed or is not willing to face facts) i have no doubt that SF exploited the situation that existed but unionist politicians have used parades in the past (Dumcree) and present (lasts years black Saturday)to forward their own agenda,
    And i repeat i (and i suspect many protestants and unionists) am uncomfortable with using the word orange to describe the totality of unionist/protestant, culture/politics.
    By the Alan the memory lapses that you refer to martin og having are just the tip of his iceberg,
    Alas memory lapses are endemic in this place

  • Reader

    carl marks: Can we also admit that the OO has had many members guilty of sectarian murder and many other terrorist offences!
    So has the GAA. To what extent are these organisations responsible for the ‘off-duty’ actions of their members?

  • Mick Fealty

    CM,

    I’m not not answering you, I’m just puzzled as to why people resort to events from 12 years ago and choose ignore what happened in 2011…

    One of our closest family friends was married to an Orangeman who back in the day worked in Mackies. In later times, she and my mother travelled the length and breadth of Ireland on trips organised by St Vincent de Paul.

    The problem is not the Orange. Or at least it is not the sole author of the problem. Deeper than that it is the breakdown of relations and inculcation of Prod/Fenian hatred (as a vent perhaps for legitimate frustrations) that’s at the root of this.

    Good Orangemen do not discount the existence of bad ones. But they do auger badly for the idea that being Orange is the problem.

    And again, I am intrigued to the degree to which some will go to keep that doctrine intact, even unto the deprecation of the Irish national flag.

  • Alan N/Ards

    Carl
    Reader has a good point regarding the GAA and the OO having members who have terrorist pasts. Are people vetted when they apply to join the GAA. If not should they be vetted?

    I agree with you regarding parades. I wish the order would get off their high horse and speak to the people who are ofended by the parades. The leadership of the order comes across as arrogant and out of touch. The rules regarding the RC church are stupid. Some of the bands ned to be banned from the pardes. Saying that there are a of people who claim to be republican who will travel a brave distance to be offended by these parades.

    What would it take to make the OO acceptable to you? Unionists should ask themselves the same qustion about the GAA.

  • Morpheus

    “What would it take to make the OO acceptable to you? Unionists should ask themselves the same question about the GAA.”

    A valid question but I think the GAA has already started Alan:
    http://www.belfasttelegraph.co.uk/news/local-national/northern-ireland/gaelic-games-protestant-support-for-gaa-in-schools-grows-28759982.html

    Has the OO?

  • carl marks

    Alan N/Ards/Reader
    Yes indeed you are both right about the GAA have had terrorists involved in it, we can say the same about nearly any group organisation or church in Northern Ireland, the difference is that very few of these other groups are involved in marching, waving flags, with bands playing sectarian tunes past the people that have been hurt by their actions.
    Neither does any yearly event in which the GAA is central to involve the routine burning of protestant symbols and the union flags,
    I am not trying to claim that the OO is solely to blame (even through Gusty Spence the first terrorist of our modern troubles was a member and the OO would stop where he could hear him from his cell every 12th, in his book he said it give him great comfort)i am merely pointing out why nationalists have a great distaste for the OO and also the ability of many unionists/loyalists to not notice these things.

  • carl marks

    Mick Fealty
    I am sorry if I give the impression that I’m blaming all OO members, I’m not.
    I am however in my own clumsy way trying to point out the fact that many many unionists seem blind to the many reasons why nationalists have problems with the OO,
    Last year on this very site before the 12th i asked virtually every PUL poster to comment on the burning of flags and symbols on loyalist bonfires, not one could summon up the decency to condemn this blatant attempt to annoy the people they share this piece of land with (indeed i got the impression that many regarded it as just a bit of fun and nationalists were just being spoilsports complaining),
    Now compare that to the uproar (and expressions of outraged surprise) that takes place when the other community objects to OO marches going past their areas. Or when a compromise is reached as regards to the flying of the union flag over Belfast city Hall.
    Alas Mike i wish we could be sure Holy Cross was 11 years ago , a few weeks ago the kerbs outside holy cross school where painted Red White and Blue nowhere else in the area did this happen just outside the school, then a mob turned up because a “rumour “ was spread that the DOE was going to remove the artwork.
    The parents of pupils are concerned that attempts to ratchet up tension are taken place.

  • CoisteBodhar

    The GAA does not promote supremacist ideals or cause agitation on the streets so examine its responsibility for its members as much as you see fit but remember it is not institutionalising divisions or flouting parades commission regulations

  • ArdoyneUnionist

    Can I ask a question and this goes back to my original question as to what was the offence out side the chapel on Donegall St.

    I would like to ask the Roman Catholic church to clarify their position on the use of Roman Catholic church owned and administrated property for political demonstrations, terrorist commemorations and parades? With specific reference to the hunger strike, Easter Sunday and political rallies by Sinn Fein/IRA, INLA and all the other republican terror and para political groupings.

    As the Roman Catholic church has not halted these political demonstrations, terrorist commemorations and parades. We can only conclude that they must approve the use of their properties for these ceremonies by these groupings? At no time do I ever recall the Roman Catholic Church coming out and stating that they were banning these groupings or ceremonies.

    Lets remind ourselves of what these groupings and ceremonies are like. There are people dressed in paramilitary uniforms, there are political speeches , there are republican bands named after terrorists playing sectarian music, there are banners and photographs depicting republican terrorists, there are people holding alleged decommissioned weapons and there are child killing republican terrorist memorials all taking place at or on Roman Catholic church property.

    Does the Roman Catholic primate of Ireland Sean Brady sanction this use personally or does he delegate this responsibility down to his bishops and do they sanction the use of their property for these events???

    Do they also approve the use of their church buildings for republican bands to practice in? Republican bands that are named after republican terrorists???

    Will they clarify their position on the use of Roman Catholic church property with the displays and activities mentioned above? Will they confirm if they regard these activities as non-sectarian and not glorifying terrorism? Are these activities fit and proper activities to take place on Roman Catholic church property and are these activities nonsectarian and are they anti Protestant anti Unionist and anti Loyalist???

    We should also remember that Easter is the most important celebration in the Christian calendar. It is the time when the Lord Jesus died so we might be saved, it is a time of peace and forgiveness. Yet all over the island of Ireland the Roman Catholic church allows its property to be used for sectarian terrorist glorification and political rabble rousing.
    All of which does not fit in with the Easter message or the church of Rome’s alleged ethos of peace, forgiveness and sanctity of life!!!

    We need these question asked of the Roman Catholic Church .
    Would the much acclaimed alleged religion of peace the Roman Catholic Church, specifically the Roman Catholic Bishop of the Diocese of Down and Connor Noel Treanor. The same diocese which St Patrick’s church in Donegall Street belongs to. The same church which was at the centre of a claim of sectarian offence, which was allegedly perpetrated when, and there is no disputing this fact the chapel was closed and empty and no service was taking place and the priest was out of the country?

    Does Sean Brady the Roman Catholic primate of Ireland or Bishop of Down and Connor Noel Treanor or his trustees give his or their permission for the use of Miltown cemetery for terrorist veneration and glorification and political rallies?
    With that permission does Sean Brady or Noel Treanor or the trustees approve and condone the use of Roman Catholic Church property for acts of sectarian paramilitary displays, terrorist glorification, terrorist memorials and political speeches?

    Is Roman Catholic Church property the correct and a fitting place for memorials to IRA/INLA and other Irish republican terrorists, memorials that glorify the murderous acts of sectarian Irish republican terrorist, who murdered not only Protestants but their fellow Roman Catholics???

    Do Sean Brady and Connor Noel Treanor condone the use of Miltown cemetery as a fitting place for political parties namely Sinn Fein and other Irish republican para-political groupings that are aligned to Irish republican terrorist organizations to hold political rallies???

    Do Sinn Fein feel this is an appropriate use of Roman Catholic Church property and do Sinn Fein consider their actions in Miltown cemetery and all other Roman Catholic Church property that is similarly used for the glorification of sectarian Irish republican terrorist killers throughout Northern Ireland and the RoI as non-offensive??? As offensive as playing outside an empty chapel perhaps???

    We ask all these question because Miltown cemetery is owned and administrated by the Roman Catholic dioceses of Down and Connor???

    http://www.downandconnor.org/blog/2012/03/22/22-march-2012-statement-trustees-milltown-cemetery/

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jtt6Or_y1sY&feature=fvwrel

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-N1tJWOZqkQ&feature=relmfu

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3GmOUkIPQ1Q&feature=related

    We would further like to ask the Roman Catholic Bishop of Derry to confirm if he approves and condones the use of Roman Catholic Church property for Irish republican bands to practice in? In particular Irish republican bands named after Irish republican sectarian murdering terrorists. The republican band in this instance is the Kevin Lynch memorial flute band, named in honour of an INLA terrorist, and prisoner who committed suicide while in prison.

    Kevin Lynch’s terrorist group the INLA were responsible for the Darkly massacre. A gang of INLA sectarian murdering terrorist burst into a small isolated Protestant Mission Hall near the border. And as the congregation of God Fearing defenceless men, women and children were singing hymns. They indiscriminately shot into the congregation. Killing three of the congregation and injuring many more.

    http://www.victims.org.uk/darkley.html
    http://www.victims.org.uk/darkleytestimony.html

    This INLA branded republican band uses St. Canice’s Church Hall, Dungiven. Again we must ask is this an appropriate venue for the INLA terrorist supporting republican band to practice their sectarian, anti-Unionist, Protestant, Loyalist music and ethos. And does the Roman Catholic church consider this a non-sectarian and non-offensive use of their Roman Catholic church buildings???

    http://www.freewebs.com/kevinlynchmfb/jointheband.htm

    Here is a sectarian if not illegal part of the INLA Kevin Lynch bands website. It asks the visitor which Irish republican paramilitary grouping would you join??? The IRA, INLA, CIRA or the RIRA. All of these terrorist organisations have carried out many sectarian murders of Protestant, Unionist and Loyalist men, women and children.

    http://polls.freewebs.com/Members/Polls/viewPollResults.jsp?pollID=1549291&userID=10735783
    http://www.freewebs.com/kevinlynchmfb/yourarmychoice.htm

    If the Roman Catholic Church is consistent in it’s condemnation and revulsion at all displays of sectarianism then surely the Roman Catholic authorities must act with immediate effect to remove any and all displays and stop the use of their property for sectarian purposes. These must include all Irish republican parades be they paramilitary or political that assemble at or raily at any Roman Catholic church property.

    We have seen Roman Catholic Church property used on many occasions as the assembly or finishing point for republican marchers. Where men and women in paramilitary style uniforms, some with their faces covered and wearing dark glasses (in effect hiding their identity) and others who are carrying weapons.

    Has the Roman Catholic Church ever considered that the Protestant, Unionist Loyalist community would not find these sectarian paramilitary terrorist displays and activities on Roman Catholic Church property as anything other than sectarian and offensive? The same offence they allegedly took at a band playing allegedly offensive tunes outside one of their closed and empty chapels.

    Offence is not the exclusive preserve of Roman Catholic’s, republicans or nationalists. Do we as the Protestant Unionist and Loyalist community not deserve the same respect from the Roman Catholic authorities that they are demanding of the Protestant, Unionist and Loyalist and Loyal Order community???

    In the video below members of the republican Sinn Fein, can be seen marching around Dublin in full view of the Irish police the Garda, in paramilitary uniforms with masks and dark classes, in an attempt to hide their identities. I would suggest that if this was a Loyal Order march or a Loyalist march in the republic of Ireland the Garda would be straight in and arrested those taking part. But as this is a republican march they are apparently given the republics approval by the inaction of the republics police force.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PDvd2ToiICI&feature=related

    Off the wall thinking!!!

    I have been traveling along the Falls road these last few days and it struck me that there are several chapels St Pauls at the corner of Cavendish Street and the Falls, and further up the Falls St John’s, opposite the City Cemetery.

    I then thought to myself do republican bands who pass these and other chapels and cemeteries and who use other Roman Catholic owned and consecrated properties. Are they required to play Hymns?

    We have been told that Roman Catholic chapels and property have a special place in terms of respect because of the sacraments contained therein and their cemeteries are consecrated or holy ground. This special place status does not extend to Protestant churches?

    Therefore if it is correct that only loyalist bands are required to play Hymns when passing such places is this not discriminatory? Shouldn’t republican bands be required to play Hymns outside Roman Catholic chapels and on their property? After all republican tunes about IRA terrorist activities should be as abhorrent to the Roman Catholic church as the alleged famine song? After all it’s about RESPECT!!!

    I was always told that respect was something that must be earned. Respect is a funny thing these days; we have a Roman Catholic priest, his congregation and Sinn Fein politicos demanding respect for their chapels.
    Yet the same diocese that these chapels belongs to, has allowed its property to be used for many years and several times a year for all the differing types of IRA and Irish republican groups, to hold terrorist displays, commemorations and republican political rabble-rousing.

    Strange thing to demand respect from one community for playing tunes outside one of your closed and empty chapels. Yet that very same churches hierarchy go out of their way to disrespect the other community by allowing their owned and administrated property to be used for terrorist displays, commemorations and political speeches.

    Strange thing respect; I seem to remember a bible story, about “first taking the plank out of your own eye, and then you will see clearly to remove the speck from your brother’s eye”!

    And then there’s a quote by George Herbert, “Whose house is of glass must not throw stones at another”!

    Strange religion the religion of Rome they are quick to take offence from others yet not so quick to recognize their offence to others, log and speck in a glass house comes to mind!!!!

    Isn’t that right Sean Brady and Noel Treanor!!!

  • Neil

    The problem occurs when people insist in going into hostile areas obviously. The GAA should be fairly easy to ignore for Unionists. I don’t know many who are inconvenienced or abused when there’s a match in Casement. If the GAA were to insist on having their matches in Windsor you might have a point, assuming of course the locals didn’t go ape shit which they would.

    The OO would be no problem at all but for maybe half a dozen parades out of nearly 3,000. I personally don’t give a monkeys about a parade in Broughshane or Cullybackey. Go nuts. Have a twelfth every day for a year. Ardoyne’s a very different beast though.

  • Reader

    CoisteBodhar: The GAA does not promote supremacist ideals or cause agitation on the streets so examine its responsibility for its members as much as you see fit but remember it is not institutionalising divisions or flouting parades commission regulations
    Then *that* is what CM should be complaining about instead of overlapping memberships. I suspect that a statistical comparison of overlapping memberships with terrorists in the Maze would reflect relatively badly on the GAA compared with the OO, but that may be because testosterone beats beer guts in the ‘activist’ section of the two communities. Or that getting all het up under a tricolour every Sunday pumps up the adrenaline. Or that marching all summer makes people old and crusty before their time.
    By the way, is (to paraphrase) “we’re right and you’re wrong, and it matters.”, a “supremacist ideal”? Because if it is then there’s a hell of a lot of it about round here. Not just from the OO.

  • carl marks

    Reader
    It would no doubt suit many if we were to ignore the duel membership of the OO and terror groups,
    Bringing in the GAA is nothing more than whataboutry would you care to comment on the burning of tricolours and are you still attempting to claim that there is no overlap between the holy cross barbarians and the OO, perhaps we will get the “just old men going to church nonsense”
    As has been pointed out to you the GAA does not march through and past protestant areas waving flags or otherwise.
    Perhaps you could show your proof of the number of people in the maze who were members of the GAA
    And you’re proof that this constituted a higher proportion of republicans than OO members and bandsmen constituted of Loyalists, where did you get these statistics from?
    Or is as i suspect one of those urban myths that people chose to believe.

  • Alan N/Ards

    Carl

    Can we really ignore the dual memership of the GAA? Is it really whataboutery to mention it? Like the OO the GAA has many decent people in it and I accept that they are not marching down roads during the summer.That is the big difference between them. The problem for me with the GAA is the violent “republican’s” who are involved with it. Of course the flags and anthem don’t help as well.The same can be said about clubs and tournaments named after violent “republican’s.

    The problem I have with the OO is the pretence that it is a Christan organisation. If it was we wouldn’t have he issues we are having at the moment.They need to wise up and lose the arrogance and the pride especially in urban areas. The rural OO is a different organisation in my eyes. They are mainly respectable and seem to get on with their neighbours a lot more.

  • Morpheus

    @Alan N/Ards

    Jeeze Alan, someone has really done a number on you when it comes to the GAA! I take your point about the naming of clubs and tournaments, I too find it distasteful on the rare occasion I have come across it, but I have been involved in the GAA since I was a boy and have yet to see any of the violent “republican’s” who you think are involved with it. If you have specific experiences then do tell but I can say with confidence before you even start that whatever you say is not representative of the whole GAA.

  • Reader

    Carl Marks: Perhaps you could show your proof of the number of people in the maze who were members of the GAA
    Well, we could start with Danny Morrison, who may have some sort of clue:
    http://www.dannymorrison.com/wp-content/dannymorrisonarchive/198.htm
    If you have material on OO membership in the Maze, you could post it here too.
    Carl Marks: Bringing in the GAA is nothing more than whataboutry…
    I disagree. You were the one insisting on the significance of overlapping membership. I am the one who is sceptical of both its level and its significance. I used the GAA to try to get that across to you.
    Carl marks: would you care to comment on the burning of tricolours and are you still attempting to claim that there is no overlap between the holy cross barbarians and the OO, perhaps we will get the “just old men going to church nonsense”
    I think that burning Tricolours is deliberately offensive and childish. I am baffled by the mentality of people who would do such a thing, and also baffled by those who get overly worked up about it.
    My issue with the “overlap” is that basically it appears that you have assumed it exists, then used it to vilify (and seek to penalise) all of the members of a particular lodge. You seem assured that you can recognise specific individuals across a ten year gap, but you have not been at all specific, in spite of the fact that I am sure there is loads of youtube footage of both the protest and the parades. I haven’t denied that there may be an overlap – there are after all only about 100,000 Protestant males in Belfast, and we could probably narrow it down to north and west Belfast plebs at that.
    As for “old men going to church”, I wasn’t going to use the term, just as I am sure you weren’t going to use the term “legitimate targets”.

  • Alan N/Ards

    Morpheus

    Apologies if I offended you regarding my comments about “republican’s ” and the GAA. I know that the vast majoriy of GAA members are decent people and I’m not trying to get at them. Saying that, I believe the leadership of the GAA turns a blind eye to these people. Do they really think that unionist’s would feel comfortable in grounds named after volent “republican’s or that they would let their children play in tournaments named after violent “republican’s. They need to get real.

    I read Mickey Harte’s auto biograhy “Presence Is The Only Thing”. He writes about how before an All Ireland final they took the squad to a mass. If they had players from a Presbyterian, Methodist, Anglican etc background would they be expected to wait on the bus while this happened? He also wrote as how the team had to learn the anthem of the Republic so they would be able to sing it at Croke park. If a unionist player was in the team would this not make him stand out? These are some of the issues that the GAA need to adress if they want to reach out to unionist’s and indeed non catholics.

    I used to have conversations with a former work collegue about the Down team. He was a big Down football fan and invited me to a number of games. Alas I didn’t take up his invite. He told me of a conversation he had with a fan of a county from the republic. He told the fan that his county were lucky as they had the whole county to choose players from and Down didn’t. They only could pick players from half the county. This guy wold also use the term “undesirables” when discussing some of the people who attended the big games. He did say that it was mainly the hurling clubs ( in his area) which attracted these people.

  • Morpheus

    @Alan N/Ards

    I didn’t take offense but I know how upset Mickey Harte would be by you taking bits of his book in an attempt to portray him in any way as anti-Protestant. I know Mickey Harte and I can tell you that he would go a hundred miles to avoid hurting any one of his players. He is the nicest man you could ever hope to meet and from his book you will know that his philosophy is to work the players hard and gain strength from the unity of the squad. He doesn’t care who you are, what religion you are or where you are from – if you can consistently show that you are good enough to play for Tyrone then you will play for Tyrone.

    Kids of both communities are playing GAA these days and long may it continue:
    http://www.belfasttelegraph.co.uk/news/local-national/northern-ireland/gaelic-games-protestant-support-for-gaa-in-schools-grows-28759982.html

    In the future the county teams will have bigger pools to choose from and will be more successful as a result.

    You talk of anthems and flags – you need to remember that that is at the elite inter-county levels. Do you think at grassroots the kids all stand to attention as the flag is raised or something? Trust me, I have had instances where I have had to chase sheep off the pitch before a match could start and there wasn’t a line in sight never mind a tannoy system or flagpoles!

    Your experiences of the GAA, as I said are not representative….not by a long shot.

  • Mick Fealty

    Yep.

    “I have had to chase sheep off the pitch before a match could start and there wasn’t a line in sight never mind a tannoy system or flagpoles!”

    One match we played had the river as the sideline to the pitch. In it or over was out.

    I think this is a classic of sporting organisations (the GAA, the IFA and the IRFU have all made blunders along the way of course, but the direction of travel is unmistakeable) moving ahead of our politicians.

  • Alan N/Ards

    Morpheus

    Where in my post did I say Mickey Harte was anti Protestant? Did I say that it was his idea to go to a mass before an All Ireland final? Did I say that it was his idea that the team learn the Irish anthem before the final? I was quoting from his book. Nothing more nothing less.To be honest I actually think Mickey Harte is a decent guy whose loves the GAA and gives his time freely. I respect that. I resent your comment that I was labelling him as anti Protestant. I was simply asking the question how would a person from the PUL community fit in to this team when these activities were deemed necessary by Tyrone GAA. Note that I am not saying that it was Mickey Harte who organised these events!!!!!!!

  • Alan N/Ards

    Morpheus

    I also meant to say we all know that the GAA is more than a sporting organisation.

  • Morpheus

    @Alan N/Ards

    You wrote:

    “I read Mickey Harte’s auto biograhy “Presence Is The Only Thing”. He writes about how before an All Ireland final they took the squad to a mass. If they had players from a Presbyterian, Methodist, Anglican etc background would they be expected to wait on the bus while this happened? He also wrote as how the team had to learn the anthem of the Republic so they would be able to sing it at Croke park. If a unionist player was in the team would this not make him stand out?”

    Take a step back and read that from the perspective of a person who doesn’t know you from Adam.

  • Am Ghobsmacht

    Morpheus

    “Your experiences of the GAA, as I said are not representative….not by a long shot.”

    In general, what is the classic/typical Protestant experience of the GAA?

    By and large I’d say ‘absolutely none’ first hand.

    As with many sticking points in Northland it’s down to perception:

    So, what goes on inside GAA halls?

    Is it ‘community bonding, sports training and the general machinations of a community hub’ or ‘ constant plotting, scheming and planning of the overthrow of Ulster’?

    I’d wager that it is the former, but ‘my tribe’ only needs a whiff of the latter for the whole association to be tarnished, be treated with hostility and be considered off limits.

    Lest I drop my hypocritical guard and receive a logical-haymaker to the side of the face, we could apply the same question to what goes on in Orange halls.

    Mostly community based but I’ll readily admit to the more ‘exclusive’ nature of this (paranoid) club.

    The OO needs to make itself more acceptable to the citizenry of NI and could start with a few easy steps that a ‘Christian’ organisation should have no qualms with; such as stigmatising the accompanying bands that carry terrorist standards, ensure due respect towards houses of worship on the parade routes, banning those convicted of murder and serious crime and even taking down that stupid picture of Cromwell from Magherafelt’s Loyalist arch…

    Likewise, the “we’re so inclusive” GAA needs to hire a marketing agent or PR guru and find out what part of it’s image is divisive and off putting.

    Though it would hardly be money well spent to have some suit tell us that naming clubs after people whom the Protestant community hate is off putting.

    I’m glad you mentioned the lack of flag poles at some clubs, you know what we’re like with flegs and many Protestant assume that the tri-colour comes with the turf.

    Personally, I’d love for Protestants to join the Northern GAA en-masse, but, what would happen if they did?

    How would this go down at grassroots level if indeed someday the ‘Armagh Orangemen’ actually included some Armagh Orangemen?

    I’m all up for ‘Orangemen and Hurley bats’ but some one has to make a big brave unpopular move first.

  • tuatha

    Ah, yes, the good ole rotting citrus fruit.

  • Morpheus

    “…some one has to make a big brave unpopular move first”

    That’s already been done:
    http://www.belfasttelegraph.co.uk/news/local-national/northern-ireland/gaelic-games-protestant-support-for-gaa-in-schools-grows-28759982.html

    Now, let’s talk about Catholics in the OO…you go first

  • Alan N/Ards

    Morpheus

    You appear to doing an impression of Ian Paisley here. When he didn’t like the question asked by a southern journalist he accused him of being drunk. Attack appears to be the best form of defense. The question still stands. Can the PUL community ever be part of the Tyrone GAA.

    AM Ghobsmach

    It would be interesting if the PUL did decide to embrace Gaelic games on mass. Would they be able to form clubs in their areas and be accepted into the GAA family or would they have to join existing clubs outside their areas….

  • Mick Fealty

    Morph,

    Or Protestants in the Catholic church? Come guys, up the game and try to focus? Are there no republicans who are prepared to stand up and defend the inclusion of what tuath calls the ‘rotting citrus’ in the national flag?

  • Morpheus

    Alan N/Ards

    Me? Paisley? Now that is a first 🙂

    In answer to your question “Can the PUL community ever be part of the Tyrone GAA” then the answer is’ a resounding hell yes. The ball is already rolling, so to speak, with more and more Protestant children taking part. Read this in fact which highlights very recent cross-community projects:
    http://ulster.gaa.ie/community/community-outreach/

    But I will highlight this stroy because I think it’s fantastic:

    The Belfast Cuchullains are a post-primary school hurling team of 20 all of whom are under the age of 16, the players from the following schools:

    Corpus Christi College
    St. Patrick’s College Beranagheeha
    Belfast Boys Model
    Ashfield Boys School

    The team has been in existence for just over two years and have participated in the range of events, which have included Shinty games in Scotland. The children in the team represent both the Catholic and Protestant traditions.

    Comhairle Uladh has formed a strong link with the team and the schools leading the project, following a successful trip to the All-Ireland Hurling Final by the teachers and Governors of the schools involved in the Cuchullains project, it was decided that Cumann Lúthchleas Gael and the Ulster Council would facilitate a tour of the United States by the team. A group of 32, which comprises of 5 pupils and two teachers from each school and four representatives from the GAA travelled in July this year.

    The team travelled to New York, Boston, Philadelphia, and Washington from 18th July to 28th July and participated in the intercontinental Youth Games held in Philadelphia.”

    Now you answer my question, “Can the CNR community ever be part of the Orange Order?”

  • babyface finlayson

    I often wonder who does the PR for the OO. If they were smart they would be taking the initiative in sorting out disputed parades and dodgy bands and while they are at it amend that out of date oath.
    Talk to resident groups. Don’t wait for Parades Commissions or any one else to tell you not to play tunes outside Catholic churches. Annnounce that you have made that decision yourselves.
    Police your members rigourously and make it clear you do not approve of burning effigies on bonfires.
    None of this would take away from the essence of your Orangeism.
    These steps would not only be the right and christian thing to do in my view, they would be excellent PR for the organisation in the eyes of the world,.
    Sadly I don’t supose it will happen anytime soon.

  • Alan N/Ards

    babyface

    Spot on comment. I cringe with embarrassment every time I hear one of their spokemen defend the order. They could possibly turn things around in a short space of time if they had brains.

    Morpheus
    Do you expect them to play at grounds named after members of “repubican gangs” or will Tyrone GAA do something about these clubs? What have they done about it up to now?

    I think it’s great that kids can of all traditions come together in sport. I have no problem with that. I have a photo of my young son when we where in France two yeas ago. He’s wearing his NI top and playing huring with kids from Kilkenny. He loved it. If my children wished to play gaelic sports I would back them 100%. Saying that I don’t think they will be playing in grounds named republican gang members.

  • tacapall

    Some peoples perceptions need to change about Orange order parades just as much as some members of the orange order need to change their perceptions of the catholic faith. The rights of those represented by the orange is equal to the rights of those represented by the green, the white represents the acceptance by both traditions those rights and liberties apply to everyone. How clearer can it be.

  • ArdoyneUnionist

    Here is how republicans and Roman Catholics show respect to Roman Catholic property not outside on the road but in Roman Catholic consecrated property.

    Where is the respect here to the Roman Catholic property that they demand from others???

    Where is the priest Michael Sheehan of St Patrick’s chapel at Donegall St, demanding respect for Roman Catholic property.

    Republican bands playing republican music and named after republican terrorists, people in paramilitary uniforms taking part in paramilitary displays, memorials to child killing republican terrorists, people carrying weapons, a armed guard of honour and political speeches.

    Respect indeed.

  • babyface finlayson

    ArdoyneUnionist
    None of that is under the control of the OO. Surely you would agree they should put their own house in order first and foremost. Lead by example. That would be what a christian organisation would want to do, I would think.
    They can then challenge others with some moral authority
    Does it have to be;
    ‘we won’t change before they do’.

  • Am Ghobsmacht

    Morpheus

    “…some one has to make a big brave unpopular move first”

    That’s already been done:
    http://www.belfasttelegraph.co.uk/news/local-national/northern-ireland/gaelic-games-protestant-support-for-gaa-in-schools-grows-28759982.html

    Now, let’s talk about Catholics in the OO…you go first

    Man, I didn’t think I’d have to be so water tight with my statements around you as I have you down as a ‘logic over pedantry’ type, but you’re blurring the line with that one.

    No matter, back to my points;

    I’m well aware of that article, I’ve used it to duel with flegtards and I unsurprisingly saw it on your notice.

    I’m so glad of this step but it’s not the big unpopular brave move that I referred to. If anything I’d say the kids are braver than than the GAA as they have to live with the bitter comments and abuse of bottom feeders in their own community.

    Perhaps the GAA similarly cops flack, but I don’t know.

    The moves that would make a difference have been punted here ad nauseum.

    I ‘think’ that the GAA could be changed more easily from above than the Order, but admittedly I know little of the GAA structure and my memories of life inside Orangedom grow ever dimmer.

    Having said that, the OO is religious based, the GAA is not. It should be easier for the GAA to make itself more presentable to Protestants than for the OO to make itself more palatable to the Catholic community.

    The best the GAA can hope for is complete inclusion (as unrealistic as that may be), whereas the best the OO can hope for is to be not so offensive.

    Both organisations are failing miserably. The schools thing is a nice touch but it’s going to put a lot of these kids in awkward situations in years to come whilst the ‘tribes’ bicker on.

    It’s a vulnerable beach-head and it needs the proper heavy support.

  • sonofstrongbow

    “the OO is religious based, the GAA is not”. Perhaps, but is the structure of local teams not aligned with the local Catholic Parish?

    As yet no one seems to have thought it important to answer the question about why the Tyrone team felt attendance at a Catholic Mass was a part of its match day preparations. Perhaps the reason is that a Catholic ethos is simply the norm within the organisation; that and sheep rustling of course.

    And what of the linkage with a mono-cultural view of ‘Irishness’? Can you imagine a situation where (real) football required match officials roles to be rendered in Middle English and the sport was part of the Morris Ring?

    AU

    Thanks for the video link. As a cross-community outreach can someone teach nationalists how to wear a beret? The Frank Spencer look is well past its sell-by date. 🙂

  • Morpheus

    @SOS

    “As yet no one seems to have thought it important to answer the question about why the Tyrone team felt attendance at a Catholic Mass was a part of its match day preparations. Perhaps the reason is that a Catholic ethos is simply the norm within the organisation; ”

    You really do have a striking ability to read what you want in posts and ignore the rest when it suits your agenda.

    From experience of the man, I am positive that if even 1 player gave a wiff of being uncomfortable then Mickey Harte would not have allowed it to be an option. It would not have been a directive from the Tyrone County Board.

    Without knowing the year of the book in question I can think of another reason why he may have wanted to go and offer a prayer but I am not going into that on this forum to try to reason someone out of a position they didn’t reason themselves into.

  • sonofstrongbow

    …….and you have a striking ability to be obtuse, when it suits your argument to miss the point. I put it down to those cool sunglasses of yours. Must make it ‘difficult’ to see the screen, when the need arises.

    When Mr Harte was originally referenced I can see no suggestion that the poster put going to Mass down solely to him. I believe the word “they” was employed.

    It was you who embarked on an unnecessary defence of the man. A defence to an attack that was never made.

    If you feel uncomfortable addressing the point about the ethos of the GAA that’s fine. However it may be best not to blanket that in a smokescreen self-generated by your own fuming.

    I can guess what you are alluding to in the last paragraph of your 10:52 post. Introducing that into the thread, however covertly, is pretty distasteful in the circumstances.

  • Am Ghobsmacht

    SoS

    “the OO is religious based, the GAA is not”. Perhaps, but is the structure of local teams not aligned with the local Catholic Parish?”

    I honestly don’t know.

    In Castledawson it seemingly isn’t, they only built a chapel there 10ish years ago but St Malachy’s GAC is way older.

    Admittedly, there may be some parish thing that I don’t grasp…

    Could be a one off.

    As for the mono cultural view of irishness, well, to expand on my madcap idea of earlier, how long would this last for in Antrim and Down GAAs if every lodge, band and church group joined their local GAA club?

    Something would have to give.

    Possibly.

  • Congal Claen

    Hi Morpheus,

    “Now, let’s talk about Catholics in the OO…you go first”

    As you’ve asked so many times – loads. Presbyterians, of which I am one, are all catholics. They’re just not Roman catholics. Pedantic I know. But, when in Rome… ;0)

    However, your question is nonsense in the first place. Although, prods can join the GAA, unionists can’t unless they park their unionist beliefs outside the door. It’s in the rules.

    On an aside, how come the GAA aren’t more supportive of the OO and loyalist bands in general? Afterall, they’re supposed to be in favour (according to the GAA rules) of promoting Irish culture. The OO is about a 100 years older than the GAA, the Gaelic League, SF, etc and loyalist marching bands represent indigenous, Irish musical culture. A living culture practised by 1000s.

  • Alan N/Ards