A recent outbreak of violence in Belfast has me pondering parading. My husband and I visited Belfast just a few days before the riots, and the streets were calm and peaceful. It seems that the majority of the incidents in recent years have occurred at or around a Loyalist or Republican parade. The non-parading faction usually takes umbrage at the chosen route, stages a protest, and tempers escalate.
The president of the Capitol Hill-based Irish National Caucus, Father Sean McManus, has offered a solution: "Stop being stupid."
Here is his statement in full :
"First, full disclosure: I have no personal interest in, or existential need for parading.
Although I have been almost forty-one years in the United State, I've never marched in the New York or Washington St. Patrick's Day parades. (Although in 1973 and 1974 I led the 45-mile Irish Freedom March from Baltimore to Washington, to the White House and British Embassy respectively).
That being confessed, here is my suggestion: Stop the stupid marching in Northern Ireland. I say stupid with all due respect, because if one keeps doing the same thing over and over again, with bad and sad results, then surely it is stupid.
Why should grown ups -- indeed, middle age men and women keep doing this?
Does it really need to waste the time of the excellent Richard Haas? Does it need a professional diplomat to resolve it?
All parties should suspend parading indefinitely, or accept parades being banned.
Stop being stupid."
Sean Mc Manus
Irish National Caucus
So what do ye think, fellow Wild Geese? Should the parades be banned to limit the violence, or are they an important expression of free-speech?
Yes ; I would agree with you Bill , it is past history , But the challenge is to attempt to leave it there . Both side are so immersed in their own past taht they are not stopping to think about the future, or indeed the present,
Lets be clear about this , the Parades are only a symptom of what the underling cause of the troubles in Norther Ireland are.
Cosgrove above , has put his finger on the root cause was set by double standards of Justice ; meted out to the Catholic population of Norther Ireland. However I woudl go further and push his finger way , way back in history to when it was a criminal offence to practice their Catholic Faith.
Having said that--------- what has happened to the good Friday agreement ; all that hard work.... gone... I do hope not.
In my opinion ; [easy for me to say , as i do not live there] is to teach children to behave in a none violent ; none aggressive; none confrontational manner ; so that somewhere in the mists of time ; attitudes may change ; 2/3 generations maybe , but anything is worth a try , rather than watching the same old, same old aggressiveness to solve their differences
Like many folks I meet here in the US who have no connection with Ireland other than a name and maybe family background ( I meet many who have no direct Irish ancestor! ) you grab the first thing that suits your cause of continuing, and escalating the war of words, the war of hatred and misunderstanding you grab negativity as if it is life itself.
Lets deal with confrontation ' a la ' Charlie Haughey.
Brendan the Irish could barely field an army today never mind air power or navy. The UK is a major force on the international scene, a nuclear power, and remains Ireland's best hope of rescue if Britain is ever invaded.
But democracy is how we Irish settle the big issues today.
So besides both the ROI and UK are close allies on the international stage and aligned members of the European Union. We, English, Irish, Scottish and Welsh, are again a family of peoples democratically united in the same state!
We live in a new age, the old Gaelic one is long gone!
Just because you have the name of some ancient Irish chieftain does not entitle you to order things for the current Irish people. Your society of chiefs and tribes failed, you lost the battle for Ireland a long, long time ago. You, and many more like you behave as if a Gealic Ireland IS the main course on the Island today.
It isn't. And it never was! There is plenty of evidence today that Ireland was inhabited long ever before your sort arrived, and the descendents of those people are today STILL in the Irish population.
So there is no way in hell that the people of Ireland would welcome what ye are talking about, nor will they permit you to take away their democracy to be replaced by some sort of Irish monarchy.
Because we know that long ago in Ireland there were that many kings that you could not throw a stone without hitting one of them on the head! And every one of the numb brained neanderthals believed that he was the king of all Ireland. Hence the unceasing wars and pogroms that Gaelic Ireland really was.
So why not just accept the fact that part of the Island is more British that the rest and get with the program. Show the love we British have for each other, let the past rest in peace. Let the Orange men do their marching and drumming, it is no burden but a chance to have a good time celebrating a Dutch king's defeat of an English one.
Last but not least, the Mc Manus bleatherings. It does not matter how he is installed, he gives the impression that he is THE voice of Ireland on this matter. Perhaps reading the recent news about child abuse by the same church he belongs to might give you some idea of how far the Irish people have moved away from that perversion. Katie Taylor is as Irish as bog tae and gooseberries but she belongs to an Evangelical church in Dublin. She IS the new Ireland, The old Gaelic whinging bagpipe meaulin crying in their beer Ireland is a waste of time. Because while such drunks beat the goat skin, drink Guinness and sing in Gaelic about what once was, the new Ireland is harnessing the Islands resources and getting rich off of it.
Any "parade of culture" that foments hatred and separation should be abolished. I would no more want public monies to sanction a separatist parade, even under the guise of "historical reenactment" than I would want those same monies going for a KKK rally here in the states.
I am a first generation American on my Paternal side. My father's people are located in So Armagh & in Antrim. They are still there, his mother's people, in So Armagh. In my Gran's house, we would never dare say that we were "British". She spoke Irish and so we learned to speak Irish in the home. She taught us that true history was passed along by the people. We were only "removed" from the happenings in the North counties by an ocean and miles. It may as well have been going on outside the door. I also heard the stories of neighbors helping neighbors, no matter their religion, as they had for generations. Imagine that, Protestant and Catholic living side by side, getting along and helping one another. Not so hard to imagine when you realize that they had both, at one time, fought for the same thing...and end to British Rule in ALL of Ireland
If it is as you say, that "the new Ireland is harnessing the Islands resources and getting rich off of it."
Tell me why then are our young leaving in droves for employment opportunities abroad? Why are there evictions happening at an increasingly alarming rate? Why is unemployment at an all time high throughout Ireland? Why are hospitals and emergency centres being shut down? Why are funds being cut for any number of community projects?
Ireland is "harnessing the island resources"? To what benefit? What resources are those?
Accept that part of the Island is "More British than the rest"? I cannot, without risking the ire of all of my ancestors who sacrificed for a Free Ireland. I have friends in the North counties who are still suffering for their beliefs in a United Ireland..Martin Corey among them.
I do not cry in my beer but I do sing in the language of Ireland...I drink Guinness and Jemmies... but I am by no means a drunk
Carrying on positive traditions...storytelling, poetry, song... is an affirmation of the tenacity of the Irish spirit
I am all for Democracy... Monarchies aren't known for their tolerance...
Now then mickey macadden , I do not think that bringing up the Catholic Churches Priests outrageous press on abuse - has anything to do with the wise words they Father McManus has spoken ,
I also do not believe that the old meaulin crying into their beer'; [you article above] is appropriate language in a very serious debate on the parades in Northern Ireland .
And more importantly Gaelic Schools are thriving in Southern Ireland ; I know because both of my Grand - Children attended the, Waiting lists for places in these schools are long,
Being Irish should not be defined y being Protestant or Catholic ... Orange or Republican , Being Irish means that we should be able to live side by side ; neighbor helping neighbor .............
Now then mickey macadden , oh what a bigot you are ; with people like you in the higher echelon of Power ; its no wonder that peace is a dream in Ireland. I do not think that I woudl want you to represent me if I lived in the USA
I do not think that bringing up the Catholic Churches Priests outrageous press on abuse - has anything to do with the wise words they Father McManus has spoken , He is entitled to his opinion ; naive as it may sound.
I also do not believe that the "old meaulin crying into their beer"; [you article above] is appropriate language in a very serious debate on the parades in Northern Ireland .
And more importantly Gaelic Schools are thriving in Southern Ireland ; I know because both of my Grand - Children attended them, Whatever your opinion is on its native language in Ireland - it is on it's way back in all sorts of Government corridors Waiting lists for places in these schools are long,
. Please try to remember to read the History of Ireland before you go blathering on about its democratic present Hard fought for when you read the History of Ireland .
Being Irish should not be defined by being Protestant or Catholic ... Orange or Republican , Being Irish means that we should be able to live side by side ; neighbor helping neigh
I happen to know and lived across the road from Katie Taylor's family; and know what a very good ambassador for Ireland she is.
Born into a Catholic family and then switching to another section of the same Christian Faith [Evaqngelic Church Dublin ; does not make her any less Irish, and certainly I doubt that she woudl call herself English; although her father was born in England ; so she has Irish and English blood in her. Much like my own children who have an Irish mother and an English father.
In your position [although how you got a post like that is beyond me ] you should be more careful about your language when you are using words to denigrate the Irish people you language below
" The old Gaelic whinging bagpipe meaulin crying in their beer Ireland is a waste of time. Because while such drunks beat the goat skin, drink Guinness and sing in Gaelic about what once was, the new Ireland is harnessing the Islands resources and getting rich off of it."
This definition of denigrate is as follows ;; this is exactly what you have done whit your language
The verb denigrate comes from the Latin word denigrare, which means“to blacken.” To sully or defame someone's reputation, or to spread negative or hurtful information about a company or a situation, is to denigrate it.
What I find disturbing about the article is that its clearly one sided. Very few things are black or white i.e The Orange Order the baddies and Republicans the goodies. Its time for the provo pardes to be decomissoned as well. Maybe Northern Irish society need to demilitarised though the agro seems to be strongest amongst the working class.
I don't think it is realistic to expect the parades to stop, but I also think it is unrealistic to expect many of us to be thrilled about public monies being invested to finance the parades, and the Orange Order in general.
Here are details of £5m ($ 7-8m) of public monies that have been paid to the Orange Order in recent years. This list isn't exhaustive, I merely googled 'Orange Order' and 'public funding' and this is what jumped out at me.
Mostly this is funding from the European Union special programme for Peace and Reconciliation, but it is also match funded by government departments in both the north and south.
Many cross-community groups (genuinely focused on peace building) are coping with severe cutbacks, and the health and education sectors (north and south) are being savaged. I'd like to know how much tolerance, community relations, mutual respect or reconciliation we have bought for our £5,000,000. And, if we have been 'sold a pup', can we have our money back, please?
2006 Orangefest - £104,000 of public money over the next three years.
The money will be used to pay for a development officer responsible for overhauling the Orange Order's image by improving community relations and promoting Orange cultural tradition.
It is envisaged that the "Orangefest" would be "inclusive" and promote Belfast in a positive light.
The Orange Order is set to receive about £4m of grants from an EU peace programme.
The funding will be used to develop the Order's headquarters at Schomberg House in Belfast and Sloan's House, Loughgall, County Antrim.
Grand Master of the Grand Orange Lodge of Ireland, Edward Stevenson, said: "The aim of this transformational project is to create understanding, education, tolerance and mutual respect through interpretation and creation of shared space.
Pat Colgan, chief executive of the Special EU Programmes Body, said:
"By pro-actively reaching out to people, on a cross-community basis, the Orange Order will be able to demystify many of the existing perceptions of what it is.
The Department for Social Development in Northern Ireland and the Department of the Environment in the Republic of Ireland have matched the funding.
Apr 2012 £884,000
The money will come from the European Union’s Peace III Programme.
William McKeown, Orange Order grand treasurer, said:
“The ultimate aim is to allow the Protestant communities to become more comfortable in themselves and feel able to move forward with inter-community and cross border reconciliation.”
Unemployment seems to fuel the hate. Perhaps this is the reason why IKEA located its Belfast store in East Belfast.