Presbyterian minister Henry Montgomery ( 1847-1943), of the Albert Street congregation. Albert Street
bordered the area known as The Pound, where Catholics from Divis Street and the Falls had regularly clashed with the protestants of Sandy Row and the Shankill since the 1830s. Montgomery’s church was located on one of nineteenth-century Belfast’s bitterest sectarian fault lines. The 1886 anti-Home Rule riots were the worst in the 1800s.
In 1896 Montgomery established the Shankill Road Mission as a type of social centre.Original plans included a large semi-circular assembly hall, classrooms, medical facilities, a soup kitchen, retail units and a residential training department. Of course Montgomery wanted to promote individual conversions to his church. Today the Mission has a Café and Coffee Shop which is open to the general public and two shops selling second-hand clothing and bric-a-brac.
Rev Montgomery was very different to two of his contemporaries, fellow Presbyterian ministers who had statues erected in their honour .
Henry Cooke (1788-1868) rallied the protestant sentiment of Ulster to his call opposing Catholic emancipation, warning against undue concessions.
He led and framed a Protestant party in Ulster politics. At Hillsborough (30 Oct. 1834), in the presence of 40,000 people, he published the banns of a marriage between the established and presbyterian churches of Ireland. The alliance was to be politico-religious, not ecclesiastical, union for conserving the interests of Protestantism against the political combination of the Roman Catholic, ‘the Socinian, and the infidel.’
Ulster Protestant Defence Association
Orangemen are said to carry his likeness on their banners. After all, the message on the banners is an effective advertising campaign which highlights who and what Orangemen are
The Black man, Cooke’s statue in Belfast was erected in September 1875. It is still a symbol of sectarian Protestantism.
Query: isn’t it time for it to go?
“Roaring”Hugh Hanna (1824-1892 ), anti-Catholic militant with all the egotism of the mob agitator.
”Our rights arose out of conflict” he thundered “and by conflict they shall be maintained”
He was famous for his anti-Papal lectures and sermons.
St Enoch’s church was built for him at Carlisle Circus in the early 1870s.
Hanna created a lethal mix of religion and loyalism.
On their annual outing to the seaside his Sunday School pupils paraded to and from the railway station accompanied by as many Orange bands as could be mustered.
Each year the parade was followed by several days rioting in and around Carrick Hill. It was through these activities that Carlisle Circus became one of the main starting points for Orange parades in the city.
The Catholic people of St Patrick’s parish have been putting up with this type of behaviour since the 1870s – for 140 years
Judges still won’t condemn loyalist bands.
17 members of a loyalist flute band were cleared of defying a Parades Commission ban on them marching past St Patrick’s Church But a judge dismissed the case against all of the defendants, who included three youths, because it could not be proved they knew about the determination.
Here’s Carlisle Circus as it was with with Hanna’s statue
And here it is after Gerry O’Neill, an IRA man from Unity flats, blew it up
3/3/1970 British Army engineers take away the fallen statue of ‘Roaring Hugh Hanna’ after an early morning IRA bomb blast at Carlisle Circus.
1985: St Enoch’s burned down in a fire that was said to be “malicious”
Hanna’s church and statue lasted about 100 years. They may be gone but his sectarian legacy is apparently immortal.
PS Ian Paisley, Hanna’s latest heir, wrote that “Dr Hanna was in the great evangelical succession of Ulster Protestant protagonists.” –
We have already seen how Ian Paisley propagated obnoxious anti-Catholic sectarianism for another 50 years
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