Burning of Orange Halls “akin to something done by the Nazis or Ku Klux Klan…”

This statement bears bookmarking, from Jarlath Burns

“Everyone here is more or less the same – Christian apparently – they should not have the need for an identity crisis. We have all been given assurances on our identity.”

Attacks on the culture of others illustrates “insecurity” he said.

“The burning down of Orange lodges is akin to something done by the Nazis or Ku Klux Klan. But Irish republicans are supposed to ‘cherish all the children of the nation equally’.”

He added: “Republicans should be giving everyone the freedom to express themselves in religious, political and civic terms.

Quite so Jarlath, let’s hope the penny finally drops with some people…

My own #SluggerReport on a similar theme from a few weeks back…


  • Mister_Joe

    Fair Deal used to faithfully report on all attacks on Orange Halls but has now withdrawn from blogging here after 1000 blogs. He is missed. These attacks are, quite simply, disgusting.

  • Mister_Joe

    “bears”, Mick, not “bares”. Delete me as necessary..

  • Dan

    Forked tongue.

  • T.E.Lawrence

    The word Nazis in the title is both striking and poignant as the first reaction of a simple human mind shall be to look for an equivalent. The first thing that came into my mind was the burning of the synagogues in Riga in 1941 by the Nazis.

  • Nevin

    “.. and finding ways in which we can begin to build some broader sense of who we are within the context of Northern Ireland, within the context of Ireland, within the context of Britain and Ireland and possibly even within or without the European Union” .. [18:20 in]

    Mick, you’ve made a number of references to the 1998 Agreement yet you’re still using the (post-)nationalist language of John Hume, language which excludes the unionist aspiration viz the context of the United Kingdom. It’s my sense that the Loyal Orders are facing attrition, not because of their religious affiliations and exclusion of Catholics but because of their political identification with the United Kingdom. We know from the Dick Spring briefing in 1996 that the post-1994 Athboy conspiracy had support from the then Irish government; the advocates of Athboy, on the other hand, face attrition from the Irish political establishment when they raise their profile in the southern jurisdiction.

  • Mirrorballman

    Its truly disgusting that these attacks are continuing in 2015. Its another horrible aspect of our annual summer hate fest. Credit to Martin McGuinness for being so vocal in his condemnation. These people who carry out these attacks are bigots.

    I think we are too fond of drawing comparisons to Nazism with our 6 counties. It diminishes the true horror & brutally of that insane regime. Our Country is not and never will resemble Nazi Germany. Our petty little squalid fights are nothing in comparison to the horrors of Nazism.

  • Simon Salter

    While I completely agree this attack was wrong! Let’s get something straight regarding the OO, if I was a member I would not be able to take part in close friends marriages and funeral services. Hard to believe it’s 2015 and does nothing to promote community relations.

  • Nevin

    “Everyone here is more or less the same – Christian apparently – they should not have the need for an identity crisis. We have all been given assurances on our identity.”

    Attacks on the culture of others illustrates “insecurity” he said.” … Jarlath

    I have some difficulty making sense of Jarlath’s analysis. Were my home under attack, I might well feel insecure but ‘insecurity’ here is being attributed to the aggressor. Such attacks, from whatever source, are an expression of arrogance and intolerance – a blunt invitation to depart.

    For those who are religious there are some differences in the small print but, from a political perspective, the constitutional aspirations are essentially in opposition. The 1998 constitutional arrangement was a recipe for ongoing conflict, either through bloody violence or attrition.

  • Redstar2014

    Vile senseless. Everyone would reject such pointless attacks be they by or on either community

  • Robin Keogh

    I dont get it at all. Who or what out there honestly believes that attacking Orange halls will achieve anything? If only we could catch them somehow, but I imagine the cowards cover their tracks pretty well. Anyone who is involved in this type of nonsense and calls themselves Republicans are deluding themselves. Such actions are wicked and those who carry them out are bringing themselves down in the mud with the worst elements of loyalism.

  • Robin Keogh

    Simon that’s dangerously close to whataboutery there. Of course it is true that there are issues around the OO regarding their behaviour and community relations etc. etc. But we can discuss that at anytime.

  • Korhomme

    “Attacks on the culture of others illustrates “insecurity” he said.”

    Indeed. And it works both ways.

  • chrisjones2

    So what. I disagree with the politics of SF but would abhor attacking their offices. Its just racism

  • james

    I think it is a natural outworking of Sinn Fein’s general strategy of creating contentious parades. The ‘credit’ for this goes to the behind the scenes ‘activists who put the work in’ as lauded by Gerry Adams and especially Gerry Kelly, whose main task every summer seems to be to work himself into the fissures in divided communities and widen them.

  • Robin Keogh

    Ah yes of course, its all the fault of them awful shinners … good man James, you never let us down.

  • james

    Well, we constantly hear from Republicans that unionism is choking in its own insecurity – perhaps in the usual hope that by sheer monotonous repitition you can make something true. Yet if that were the case, and these attacks were carried out out of insecurity (rather than arrogant entitlement) then surely we’d be seeing GAA clubs burning down?

  • james

    Would you say Gerry Kelly’s personal annual campaign against what he tortuously refers to as ‘the Orange’ has an influence on the sectarian attacks on Orange halls or not? Somewhat hard to believe that those who carry out these attacks aren’t inspired in part by him. And what of big Gerry’s praising the SF ‘activists’ for fomenting hatred of the Orange Order. Also a complete coincidence?

  • Robin Keogh

    GAA clubs are attacked, as are Catholic Churches, is this the fault of Unionism or Loyalism? No, its not. The blame for all of these attacks lie squarely with the offenders who represent nobody but the lowest elements in society.

    The argument regarding insecurity is quite different. Festooning an area with offensive paramilitary and nazi style flags as a territory marker 365 days a year is indeed a classic manifestation of civic insecurity. That observation is not the result of republican imagination, its a widely accepted socio psychological fact.

    Burning Orange halls, GAA clubs and Cath/ Prod churches has very little to do with insecurity and a whole lot to do with pure sectarian vandalism.

  • Robin Keogh

    In a word. No.

  • james


  • james

    You’re right. Must be the SDLP behind it…

  • Robin Keogh

    In your world James… anything is possible i suppose.

  • npbinni

    ‘Loyalists’ who are daft enough to fly the swastika obviously haven’t studied much history. Irish Republicanism had strong links to Nazism whereas Ulster unionism never had.

    (Oops, not the topic of this thread, but you get my drift?)

  • james

    Festooning an area with …….flags as a territory marker 365 days a year is indeed a classic manifestation of civic insecurity.

    Would you say the same goes for the Irish Tricolour? Certainly, as a man who has travelled extensively, one notices that the Irish never seem to go anywhere without packing a flag.

  • Robin Keogh

    I’ll leave it there james

  • submariner

    loyalists also fly the star of David flag despite the fact that the people who founded the state of Israel fought a vicious terrorist campaign against the British and modeled themselves on the IRA , But then again we are talking about loyalists whose IQ is probably in double figures

  • submariner

    Aye James because there were never any contentious before

  • submariner

    Ah UTC i see you are still spouting the same old conspiracy nonsense as you did on debate central

  • Turgon

    This is a welcome set of comments from Jarlath Burns. Indeed the burning of Orange Halls (or any other halls or buildings) is completely unacceptable. This sort of behaviour is indeed like the KKK or possibly the Nazis (though burning stuff down is one of the lesser crimes of the Nazis – though Burns’s comments are well meant).

    But then there is the but.

    Or actually there is no but, and there never was and that is the most salient point.

    This sort of despicable behaviour is simple bigoted criminality: always has been always was and always will be. It was wrong and KKK – ish or Nazi – ish when it was done during the Troubles just as much as it is now. There is no difference and therein lies the utter hypocrisy of the likes of McGuinness condemning now what he once condoned and indeed condoned much worse.

    I trust Jarlath Burns (and indeed some of the commentators on here lining up to condemn these crimes now) would equally condemn the same crimes committed 30 years ago: in Burns’s case very likely in other people’s cases less likely. Burning down Orange Halls was akin to something done by the KKK or Nazis then just as it is now.

  • barnshee

    Hmm perhaps you could identify the “start” of the contention
    Gerry seemed to suggest a the outworking of a strategy?

  • submariner
  • Robin Keogh

    We are not in a war now, we were then…big difference in the civil dynamic.

  • Zig70

    Hmm, in the week were we had Nazi flags in Carrick and there is the similar message of Christian solidarity https://www.kkk.com/
    Is Jarlath saying they burnt down their own hall?

  • Turgon

    So KKK or Nazi behaviour was acceptable during what you define as a war?

    Even if it were a war during the Toubles (and I and very many others do not accept that) Nazi like behaviour was still a crime: even in a war there are crimes and a (contested) state of war does not remove the guilt of the perpetrators of such crimes.

    You of course Mr Keogh being a citizen of the RoI were certainly not part of any (defined by yourself) war so you comment we were then is completely untrue.

  • Nevin

    Thanks, submariner, though you are probably being unnecessarily harsh about the activities of a former Irish foreign minister and a former MP for West Belfast. In light of your Israel reference further up, the young civil servant who sent me that transcript nearly twenty years ago is the current Irish ambassador in Tel Aviv. Perhaps you already knew that.

  • Nevin

    Robin, the loyalist and republican paramilitary activity that you refer to IMO had/has nothing to do with ‘civic insecurity’ but was/is an expression of territorial control enforced by ‘civic policing’. Those in control dictate who lives in or who passes through such areas.

  • Nevin

    “The Orange Order opposed the Act of Union and that would be because many, many people from within the Orange Order would have gone out and fought in ’98” .. [14:10 in]

    Here’s a snippet from a talk by Prof Brian Walker [Irish Times]:

    Too much attention had been focused on the United Irishmen and not enough on their opponents, Prof Walker said.

    “The United Irishmen were seen as idealistic and `goodies’ while their opponents were viewed as reactionaries and unpatriotic. But there were many sensible people who opposed the rebellion for very good reasons.” These included Daniel O’Connell, Edmund Burke, the Catholic Church authorities and the Orange Order. ..

    The terrible violence of the rebellion tended to be forgotten, Prof Walker added. Some 30,000 died in under six months, most of them killed by other Irishmen. This compared to 3,500 deaths in 30 years of the Troubles. “The vast bulk of troops and rebels engaged in the 1798 Rebellion were Irishmen `Protestant, Catholic and Dissenter’, ” he said.

  • james

    I didn’t say that. I merely criticized the Sinn Fein policy of bringing chaos where there was calm.

  • Deke Thornton

    All terrorists model themselves on previous groupings.”fought a vicious terrorist campaign against the British and modeled themselves on the IRA ” Yo Ho. applies to ISIS/Al Qaeda etc. Terrorism is an explicit act of tormenting people, usually of people of a different religion or sect. Scientists don’t do it. It’s a faith thing, and history. But I’m unsure where anyone involved here has any knowledge of Science, History or even a ‘faith’. Probably, actually is the latter.

  • Robin Keogh

    I am referring to wide spread civil strife in the context of war. I have no doubt there were dozens if not hundreds of sectarian attacks during the conflict. Whatever justification actors might have felt they had then; the peace agreement here and the commitment to work in peace gives not a corner shadow cover to the transgressors today.

  • Paddy Reilly

    The most interesting statistic is the month in which these attacks occur:-

    January – 13
    February – 6
    March – 7
    Apr – 5
    May – 5
    June – 20
    July – 110
    August – 36
    September – 13
    October – 16
    November – 6
    December – 5

    It follows then that the Orangemen must be doing something in the month of July that pisses other people off, to the point of inducing them to commit arson. I wonder what that could be? I suggest they find out and stop doing it, and then hopefully the arson attacks will stop as well.

  • SeaanUiNeill

    Thank you Nevin for drawing attention to Brian’s talk. It is also conveniently forgotten that many insurgents in the north and south were in rebellion simply in support of their own closely defined communities, and not for some more idealistic “Ireland” as envisaged by their leadership. Some northern presbyterians even spoke of dealing with the Catholics, too, after they had mastered the Anglicans……

  • SeaanUiNeill

    And sometimes even the Swastika banner! I remember passing the two flags side by side on a run over the Glenshane pass to Derry a few years back.

    Perhaps the “double figures” evaluation is optimistic…….

  • barnshee

    If I were a member of a religious grouping that

    1 Denied the validity of other christian groupings -(protestants are apostates who cannot go to “heaven”)

    2 Practices blackmail -children brought up catholic or no church wedding

    3 Excommunicated members for having the temerity to marry “out”

    4 Declines to recognise “non catholic weddings” as valid – (handy for the old annulment tho which conveniently leaves a “church wedding” option open)

    “Hard to believe it’s 2015 and does nothing to promote community relations.”

  • Mister_Joe

    OH so that makes it ok then? I do my best to avoid ad hominem attacks but you make it so tempting. You are implying that some people indulging in a legal activity, even though some such activities are annoying to some other people, fully justifies others indulging in illegal activities. Strange fruit.

  • Nevin

    The role of Rev Philip Johnson in Derriaghy is quite an interesting one; it highlights the importance of nuance and the difference an individual can make.

  • SeaanUiNeill

    Thank you Nevin, yes, a most interesting piece.

    Being familiar with the kind of resolutions that were being passed by Volunteer Units and other “advanced” thinkers I find it most gratifying that Johnson’s proposal:

    “Resolved unanimously, that we bear sincere and hearty goodwill toward our Roman Catholic Brethren, and we trust that Parliament will lend an ear to the prayer of their petition, and extend to them a participation of every franchise consistent with the general welfare of the Nation, so as to conciliate all good subjects.”

    set amid a plethora of 1793 proposals is more fulsome than many of the other similar proposals I’ve come across. A most interesting man.

  • Nevin

    Seaan, can you shed any light on the ‘wreckers’ referred to in that article?

  • Paddy Reilly

    No, I am as always merely pointing out cause and effect. ‘Fully justifies’ is far from what I wrote: this is made up by you. If you do A then another party may do B. Whether B is morally justified by A is irrelevant: what matters is whether B is a predictable response to A.

    The supposed legality of the Orange Order’s activities is no argument at all. There are about a dozen laws they, and their camp followers could be prosecuted under, but they escape prosecution because there are so many of them.

  • congal claen

    Half the population have IQs in double digits as a score of 100 is chosen to represent an average IQ.

  • MainlandUlsterman

    “inducing them to commit arson”??
    And a woman in a short skirt is inducing rape too then?

  • SeaanUiNeill

    Let me check that one out properly. I’ll get back to you.

  • Gareth Murray

    “Your honour I didn’t want to set the Hall on fire, I had no choice, you see themmuns made me do it by walking up and a down the road”.

  • barnshee

    oh its all gone quiet- all gone quit- all gone quiet etc

  • Paddy Reilly

    Another mystery here: surely themmuns walk up and down the
    road every day of the year: isn’t that what roads are for? So why is this week so special? Keep thinking: you may eventually fathom the strange reasoning behind Fenian Incendiarist thinking.

  • Nevin

    In that era, ‘wrecking’ would have been associated with the destruction of looms for the weaving of linen.

  • John Collins

    You should ask the relatives of that Derry man Sean Browne about that. And of course the lengthy occupation of parts of Crossmaglen GAA pitch also comes to mind.

  • Gareth Murray

    “Well your Honour it’s true that themmuns do use the road quite a bit, but in the month of July they do it in costume and with me being a sufferer of masklophobia in the month of July, I feel I’m fully jistified in burning down their Hall. For the record and in mitigation, I’m less likely to be an arsonist in December.”

  • james

    I’m sorry – did you have a point to make? I think I missed it.

  • Paddy Reilly

    There is a major error in the formulation of these imaginary scenarios as courtroom scenes, since they are fated not to occur. Put it this way:

    Group A indulge in riotous assembly, threatening behaviour, obstruction, breach of the peace, vandalism, damage to property, underage drinking etc etc. However they escape prosecution because there are too many of them for the police to deal with.

    Group B indulge in arson and damage to property. They escape prosecution because the arson is surreptitious and the perpetrators anonymous.

    My theory is that there is a cyclical and tit-for-tat element in these two phenomena. If we can only rein back on A, we should get less of B.

  • Gareth Murray

    “And of course your honour as well as themmuns indulging in riotous assembly, threatening behaviour, obstruction, breach of the peace, vandalism, damage to property, underage drinking etc. They also killed Kennedy and were undeniably the instigators and solely responsible for the Global Financial Crisis of 2008. The bastards. My arsonist behaviour was only to persuade these monsters into respecting law and order,”