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Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Why Orangefest is wrong

We're told that the 12th of July celebrations by the Loyal Orange Order is a simple celebration of Protestant Ulster religious tradition and in no way intended as an antagonism or triumphalist sneering at the Catholic community of Northern Ireland.

Sadly this picture says otherwise:

For the uninitiated in Ulster hatreds, KAT stands for 'Kill all Taigs (Catholics)' while FAP is an acronym for 'Fuck all Papists'.

This image, and a superb photostory and accompanying report, can be found at Slugger O'Toole.

The author must be commended for braving the drunken louts that attend the 12th of July 'celebrations' in order to report on the reality of the hatred they represent.

What religious organisation can endorse such genocidal desires among its supporters? Is it any wonder that the people of nationalist areas such as Ardoyne are prepared, after generations of such intimidation, to riot in order to prevent them passing through their streets?

The only way to prevent those riots is to prevent the marches themselves. In places like Rossknowlagh, in Donegal in the Republic of Ireland, Orange marches pass off peaceably every year without fail. It is no coincidence that the Rossknowlagh march does not pass through streets where they are not wanted, nor does its followers display on their faces desires to ethnically cleanse their neighbours and co-religionists in the Christian tradition.

Much as the Orange Order would like to sanitise their marching season into an 'Orangefest' the whole community and wider tourist cohort can enjoy, while their supporters propose the genocide of their neighbours, this remains an impossible dream.

Only when the Orange marches are restricted to routes on which they are welcome, when their religious temperance celebration is enforced without alcohol and when they strictly repudiate genocidal intent among their following will they ever be accepted among their neighbours whose eradication is so desired by deluded, hate-filled youngsters such as those above.


Peter Slattery said...

I dunno. If I were marching, the last place I'd want to go is somewhere where the residents really don't want me. I know they argue 'tradition.' But if they were really interested in pulling their heads out of the past and progressing as a community, the Orange Order would agree to reroute the marches. They just seem like pricks. And my opinion has nothing to do with religion, as I think they're all ridiculous.

Random John said...

Those two look like something the "Kat" might drag in "Through a KAT F(l)AP"

Ha ha ... mingers

Mick said...

JC, The Rossnowlagh reference contains the key to understanding the problem. Donegal has never had problems accepting Orangemen. Run it thirty miles south in Leitrim or Sligo, and I suspect you will find a different outcome.

In most of the places the Orangemen march in Northern Ireland, there is no problem. Including Catholic areas. The big march in Tyrone last year was in Dromore.

We had sightings of Orangemen quite peaceably downing pints in several pubs festooned with Tyrone GAA flags. What strikes me about Moochin's photograph is the sheer lack of threat in it. Kill All Taigs is now casual, whereas when I was growing up it was both sincerely meant and regularly acted upon.

JC Skinner said...

Thing is, Mick, in the places you mention, the Orange Order is accepted on sufferance BECAUSE they do not march down streets or through districts where they are not welcome.
I'm the first to acknowledge that the number of OO marches which are contentious is way down on the Drumcree-era high point.
But the bottom line remains the principle of consent: if the OO aren't welcome in the Garvaghy Road or past the Ardoyne shops, they should have the grace and sense to route elsewhere without debate or discussion, and go where they are welcomed.
As for the suggestion that graffiti stating 'Kill all Taigs' isn't threatening, well I suppose that's in the eye of the beholder. It's certainly not a friendly sentiment, whether acted on or not, and whether intended 'casually' or not.
Either way, it's appalling.