It’s Commemorating ….Commemorating

Its. 8.30am on 12th July 2013. How is the Twelfth going for you?…a day for us all as the absentee editor of Slugger O’Toole puts it. But I might have taken it out of context. We all have a role to play…apparently. Peaceful Parading. Peaceful Protesting. Peaceful Blogging.
The BBC News report just did the annual reminder to its listeners in Tunbridge Wells and Rotherham that the Twelfth commemorates the Battle of the Boyne in 1690.
It does no such thing.
It commemorates annual COMMEMORATIONS of Orange Triumphalism and the Boyne is a feeble excuse to do it.
As Slugger parrots the Orange “reminder” to Republicans that the third colour on the National Flag is Orange (show us respect)it might be a good time to remind the sectarian rabble (that the Orange Order seems to be) that they are the ones burning the Flag.
The National Flag of Ireland was not around in 1690. So why enthusiastically burn it.? Is it not an incitement to very modern hatred, dressed up as CULTURE.?
As the song says its about the Sash My Father Wore…not the uniform a Dutch or Danish mercenary wore at the Battle of the Boyne.
It has its roots…no coincidence surely…at Drumcree Parish Church in the 1790s and one sided battles between Defenders and Peep O Day Boys, backed by magistrates implementing one sided Parades determinations.
More Battle Hill, Portadown (1794)than Battle of the Boyne (1690)
It has its roots at the “Battle of the Diamond” in 1795 and Dan Winters Cottage celebration of sectarian murder.
The bands still pay tribute to “The Aghalee Heroes” (1798) and the brave ( they would say) Orange heroes at Dollys Brae in 1849 or the “battle” of Derrymacash in Seagoe in 1860.
Orangemen have a peculiar understanding of words like “battle” and “hero”.
There seems a pattern where Orangemen like to get their marches thru places they are not wanted. Murder was no real moral dilemna to them. And certainly the sensitivities of Catholics was regarded as an incentive rather than an inhibition.
And that was the same with Brian Faulkner on the Longstone Road in the 1950s. And Harold Gracey on the Garvaghy Road in the 1990s.
It started and ended at Drumcree. Two hundred years apart.
Meanwhile…Ardoyne 2013.
The Orangemen have their return (route) restricted.
It seems over the top to berate the 21st century magistrates (the Parades Commission). History shows that the Orange Order did rather well out of decisions.
But its all unfair…says the absentee blogger.
Why cant we all just get along?
Well…its tradition.
Its the tradition of Orangemen to march wherever they want. For over two centuries, they never cared about the consequence up to and including murder.
And it has been tradition for Catholic residents to quietly resent it or oppose it, paying with their lives.
But today is NOT about the Green Grassy Slopes of the Boyne.
Its about the Green Grassy Slopes of Ardoyne.
As in the past, it has been about Drumcree, Dollys Brae, Derrymacash…and Drumcree again.
Will there be a protest, stand-off, confrontation, violence?
I dont know.
People will want to take things TO THE LIMIT…but the problem is that it cannot always be contained.
People will over-state the value of saving the “institutions” (ie the post-1998 Settlement) and this will include people who dismiss the institutions as too flawed to have any value.
And certainly from an Orange perspective…the uncritical coverage that parades get on BBC and UTV (who too easily buy into the Orange Fest crap) …is too valuable to lose. If BBC and UTV see a link between parades and violence, the OrĂ ngemen will lose the last scrap of “respectabilty”…long overdue.

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