Belfast’s Burning – VICE News reports from Lanark Way

An outsider’s view of eleventh night bonfires from VICE News. Jake Hanrahan based himself at the Lanark Way bonfire, interviewing those building the dizzyingly high tower of pallets as well as those who came along to the structure burn. Near the end of the ten minute video report [8:50] one lad seems to surprise the reporter when he describes the Ardoyne as “half and half, it’s partly their road and it’s partly our road” and goes on to talk about … Read more

Beacons and the hornet’s nest of bonfires

Bonfire in King George V Playing Fields in East Belfast

Driving into work every morning I pass a number of bonfire sites. The stacks of pallets strewn across the sites on the Donegall Road have been gradually sculpted into tall towers. It’s good to see an absence of tyres at Monarch Street. (Their bonfire suffered from being lit prematurely in 2011 and was given a Council-provided beacon and a hastily reconstructed tyre-ridden replacement bonfire.) Bonfires have rarely been out of the news headlines in recent weeks: Agreement was reached to … Read more

Grand Lodge’s inward-looking resolutions focus on flags,marriage and a one-sided shared future?

The outward march on the Twelfth of July leads each Orange lodge to ‘the field’. As well as picnics, burger vans, bouncy castles and stalls, there is a service of worship and speeches. A set of resolutions compiled centrally by the Grand Orange Lodge of Ireland are read out at each field. The resolutions give an insight into what’s occupying the minds of the Grand Lodge. This year the first two resolutions cover The Faith and Loyalty, acknowledging religious freedom … Read more

BBC NI’s “The Twelfth” live coverage in 2012 complied with impartiality guidelines, but questions must remain about how the Twelfth is covered

The BBC’s live coverage of The Twelfth of July parade through Belfast city centre becomes more anachronistic with every passing year. Last year, a complaint was made to the BBC and later in the post I’ll refer to the finding. While the capital city’s parade remains the longest across Northern Ireland (Armagh is the largest), the numbers of Orangemen and women marching in each lodge is thinning out, often marching two abreast where once eight would have walked, and nowadays … Read more

Tweeting the twelfth

Since Mark and company will be in the field (in all senses), I’ll try and keep a feed running here on CoverItLive which will automatically update from twitter. At the moment it includes the most common hashtags (#twelfth, obviously, and #orangefest, #niparades and #glorious12th) but I can include others if people feel they are trending sufficiently. You can comment below or use the hashtags and join in via twitter. Anyone who wants to relay tweets into the comments can feel … Read more

Photograph of the Day – Education through celebration!

Flyer that was brought to my attention yesterday on the inside it says “If you’re visiting Northern Ireland in July make time to enjoy an old tradition with a beautiful new look OrangeFest. Edit to add photograph of the interior of leaflet There’s a brief history section a little bit about culture from which my fav quote is….. “And for fans of all things pyrotechnic, the spectacle of the annual Eleventh night bonfires all across Northern Ireland will certainly be … Read more