The Orange Order: An Insider’s View of The Twelfth Day

Choyaa is an Fermanagh Orangeman It’s the Sunday following the Twelfth and I arrive into church a few minutes early. The pews are generally empty as it’s the Twelfth period and our minister is on his annual holidays. A lady watches me attentively as I sit in one of the pews, I watch her from the corner of my eye and I suspect something is wrong. I have never spoken to this lady before but I have seen her in …

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In praise of Ulster’s heartbeat – the Lambeg drum

  I don’t think anything better defines the Twelfth for me than the sight and the sound of a well-played Lambeg drum. Pun intended, but the oul Lambeg is hard to beat. I’ll be honest, though. The first time I heard a Lambeg as a child – at a Twelfth parade in Moira if I recall correctly – I must have jumped so high out of my skin that I could have touched the top of arch. But gradually, as …

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Young Conway Volunteers sail home

Thirteen members of Young Conway Volunteers have been found innocent of provocatively playing a sectarian tune outside St Patrick’s Church in July 2012. They played the tune made famous by the Beach Boys: “Sloop John B”. At their initial trial they had been found guilty as the tune is also that of “The Famine Song”. However, as demonstrated by the defence counsel the tune is also used with multiple different lyrics. At the initial hearing they were found guilty but …

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A possible solution to the parading issue in Northern Ireland?

Lee Reynolds in transit at Belfast's Orange Parade, 12 July 2011

Alex Johnson writes for us on how he thinks the parading issue could be solved in Northern Ireland In my experience all problems have a solution. What is so often lacking in this part of the world is the understanding and guts to bring solutions into operation. I would like to suggest solutions to two of our favourite subjects (the rest of the world must laugh their heads off when they see this) – bonfires and bands – the two …

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Do we need more funding for musical instruments for bands?

Lee Reynolds in transit at Belfast's Orange Parade, 12 July 2011

A motion was passed in the Assembly today on the need for funding musical instruments and I wanted to get the Sluggerverse’s perspective on it. The  motion was proposed by DUP MLA’s Nelson McCausland, Gordon Dunne, David Hilditch and William Humphrey. Here it is in full text That this Assembly notes the cultural, artistic and community importance of bands in Northern Ireland; recognises the importance of Musical Instruments for Bands funding programme; expresses its disappointment at the failure of the …

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