DUP Spokesman on International Development and Culture, Media & Sport
Gregory took part in the Orange Order march/walk in Rossnowlagh, Ros Neamhlach, meaning “heavenly headland”, Co Donegal, Republic of Ireland
“I have been to the Rossnowlagh demonstration many times before but this was the first time I have taken part in it. As always the spectacle was a tremendous one and enjoyed by people from all denominations. A family day out and the way the 12th should be enjoyed. Only a handful of Gardaí officers were required and a great day was had by all.
here’s a clip from 2012
What happens in Rossknowlagh?
Supported by lodges from Northern Ireland, Orangemen from Cavan, Donegal, Monaghan and even Dublin march under their banners. There are, in fact, some 44 Orange Lodges in Cavan, Donegal, Leitrim, Monaghan, Donegal and Wicklow.
All participants assemble on a field near St John’s Church, a fair bit outside Rossnowlagh proper. They march for 2 kilometres or so through the countryside, past a caravan park and into the village of Rossnowlagh
A religious service is held in the dunes and there is what can only be described as a small Unionist fair in the car park.
How many participate?
The number of participants and marching bands varies each year with most marchers coming from Northern Ireland lodges . The numbers below are very approximate but do show a clear increase over the years
Before the troubles – about 1,000
1981 – 500
1987 – 800.
1993 – 10,000
1997 – 15,000,
“Irish Republicans in Northern Ireland could learn lessons”
“They should consider how people in the Republic are prepared to show some tolerance to a cultural and religious commemoration that some may not share”.
Gregory dear You certainly know how to demand respect and tolerance from Irish Republicans
without giving an inch
Why not look first at some lessons the Orange Order could learn?
Please consider the impact of 1 march/ walk vs 4,000 odd and rising?
Who wouldn’t tolerate 1 march?
Through Catholic-owned fields and along a public beach?
No walking/marching through areas that want to live free from sectarian harassment?
No holding up roads, arterial routes, business, shopping, towns and cities?
What’s not to like and tolerate about the Rossknowlagh-style Orange march?
Name your place in NI –Anywhere you want!! You pick!!
The Loyal Orders can reassert their right of free assembly etc., year in, year out with absolutely no confrontation or nasty episodes under these circumstances
We’ll even re-name the stretch of country lane the Queen’s Highway if that will make you happy!
What are you talking about?
Gregory dear, don’t you realize that by marching through nature most of the time, avoiding any “conflict areas” and generally keeping themselves to themselves the Orangemen avoid (or evade) confrontation.
“ However in the Republic they are all prepared to let it take place with no requirement for Parades Commission rulings or well prepared protests by those intent on demonstrating their hatred of all things Orange.”
Indeed they are, dear. Do try and keep up. Here are some other key features that make a big difference
1) In 2001, a poll of Donegal Protestants found that 86% identified with ‘Irishness’ and the Irish state, demonstrating pride in national achievements,
2) 96% mixed socially with the Catholic community
3) One local Orangemen commented that they and the local lodges of the Ancient Order of Hibernians ‘co-operated closely’, often loaning each other instruments for their respective parades.
4) The Orange Order in Northern Ireland is indelibly associated with the overtly sectarian Stormont state that emerged from partition.
5) The Orange Order was seen to be (and usually was) tightly bound up with institutions like the B-specials and the Northern state itself.
6) The 12th Orange Order walks/marches, particularly through Catholic/Nationalist/Republican parts of cities, towns and villages in Northern Ireland were and are an expression of power and control, often of overt sectarianism
What are you talking about?
Gregory dear if the Orange Order wants 1 Rossknowlagh-style march/ walk per year through fields and along a public beach in Northern Ireland ( and only that) you will be amazed how much support you will get and how much affection, tolerance, appreciation you will get from millions of well-wishers, including all Republicans.
Otherwise take the lessons above on board before you start lecturing anyone on tolerance and respect