A video, filmed in a room bedecked with union flags and Orange Order paintings, shows a group of people singing a song about the death of Michaela McAreavey, a young Northern Irish Catholic bride who was murdered on her honeymoon.
It has been described as “vile” “utterly abhorrent” “absolutely sick” “beyond reprehensible” and the singers as “vermin”.
Here’s what they sang:
“She went to her room to get a wee treat
Something **** strangers she did meet
They hammered & they hammered & they bate her about
John McArevey never gave her a shout.
Through the streets of Ballygawley town”
Comment: The murder of an innocent Catholic woman becomes a source of entertainment.
Involved in broadcasting and singing, John Bell and Andrew McDade, said it was a matter of “deep shame and regret”. They described it as an “offensive, vile and wholly abhorrent chant”.
Remember: That song had a tune and lyrics that people in the room knew well enough to sing along to.
It had most probably been sung on other occasions and places, when openly racist, sectarian or misogynistic behaviour appeared normal.
Queries: Do similar things happen in other Orange Halls? Regularly? Is this what goes on behind those doors?
Are anti-Catholic chants used to bond men and women together in an implacable mindset?
How many of singers believe the offence was the song ?
Or was the leak the offence?
Things that would typically have stayed within their Orange Order walls were filmed and put out on social media.
And seen by everyone.
Wonder how Westminster Orange Lodge will react to this abuse of Her Majesty’s Catholic subjects during her Jubilee celebrations?
Michaella McAreavey was targeted because she was a Catholic. She wasn’t a political activist or member of a paramilitary organisation. Just an innocent Catholic. The chant and the setting are associated with violent anti-Catholic, anti-Irish hatred.
Yet nobody mentioned the S word!
Sectarianism is a sub-set of racism.
So apart from the fact that the Police Service should be investigating a hate crime, why wasn’t sectarianism mentioned as the Orange Order condemned the video and offered to investigate?
Because sectarian acts don’t exist in an all-PUL (Protestant, Unionist, Loyalist) environment such as an Orange Hall.
Let’s look at sectarianism from the PUL point of view
All-PUL spaces are untainted by sectarianism because sectarianism operates only when CNR (Catholic, Nationalist, Republican) people are present
Comment: According to Unionists/Loyalists, the CNR are the root cause of sectarianism. If there were no CNR people about there would be no sectarianism
Query: How is sectarianism used in Northern Ireland?
Sectarianism is the weapon that maintains our Unionist/loyalist power in Northern Ireland
Comment: Sectarianism is a problem of Unionism/Loyalism and of Unionist privilege
But since we have the power to enact sectarianism, then it becomes a problem for the CNR community. As it has been for over 200 years.
Q:What is sectarianism?
Our anti-Catholic, anti-nationalist, anti-Republican, anti-Irish sectarianism is central to the means for achieving our Unionist/Loyalist goals of supremacy in power and British identity
Sectarianism confers structural advantage, privilege.
It’s a belief system that perpetuates our right to the unequal distribution of privileges, resources and power that has kept us in the dominant position for over 100 years
It’s a set of cultural practices that are usually unmarked and unnamed
It is a ‘standpoint,’ the place from which we look at ourselves, others, and society.
Remember: The people who benefit from any ideology always deny the harm of that ideology and even its existence
Query: What annoys you about the others, the CNR
NI would be fine if only the CNR would vote the “right “way for the “right” people. Take for example when Brexit was being voted for. Few or none of us thought about how it would effect the parity of esteem of nationalists. We ‘dismissed’ CNR feelings about the EU, their actually being European, their high regard for the openness of the Irish border. And we don’t care that a majority in NI support the Northern Ireland Protocol (NIP) which we fiercely oppose.
Query: Why do you, the PUL, object to the NIP?
It sets up a trade barrier with Great Britain. It weakens our link with Britain because it’s a new form of Partition. It threatens our identity and tradition. It opens up space for Republicanism to flourish and makes it easier to call for a Border Poll. And we could lose it.
Remember: Brexit Referendum voting pattern: 56% in NI voted to Remain in the EU
Comment: By any calculation 56% is a majority. The PUL do not speak for this 56% majority.
Yet our voice predominates. Unionist/Loyalist DUP backed Brexit and as a majority in GB voted Leave – out of the EU Northern Ireland should go!And away with the NIP!
Comment: The British Government signed, sealed, ratified and delivered the NIP
We have vehemently opposed legislation for women’s reproductive choice, single-sex marriage and an Irish language act, rights that were all available in Britain
Comment: All of which Westminster is finally delivering
But since we are boycotting the Stormont Assembly, abortion clinics and the Irish Language Act will never be implemented
Query: What about CNR not voting for the “right” people?
By voting for SF rather than the SDLP Northern nationalism has sacrificed our friendship, goodwill and alliances
If they would only have voted for the ‘right‘ party, they would have everything they want by now . . .
Query: What’s the link between Sectarianism and Britishness?
We’re British. We enjoy a deeply internalized, largely unconscious sense of belonging in U.K. society
Consequently, we can represent the whole of the people in Great Britain, preferably the English.
Comment: Irish people in NI can only represent their own sectarianised experiences. They cannot represent the PUL in NI, or citizens in the ROI.But they can represent citizens world-wide who have suffered at the hands of racists.
Britishness/Englishness is assumed as a universal reference point for NI people.NI people should want to emulate the British values and virtues in order to be accepted into Unionist culture. In offering an education space that was explicitly British/Unionist/Loyalist we offered the ideal way of life which we want to impose on everyone .
Comment: NI is a closed entity with no tolerance or place for anyone who does not fit the Unionist/Loyalist concept of British. CNR are not welcome in NI society unless conforming to other people’s prejudices.
The fact the CNR need to emulate British culture, or refuse to do so, makes them inferior, not as good as us, “disloyal” in a word. That’s what disloyal means. They are not as good as us, inferior. And they are never trusted no matter how Unionist they say they’ve become.
Comment: To be “not pseudo-English” is ipso facto to be inferior and marginalised.
Right. The CNR are tolerated but unless they behave (no SF first minister) we close down Stormont. As we have.We do not acknowledge nationalists’ right to have their vote recognised
Because since Partition and the founding of NI, we have developed unchallenged expectations to remain in the leadership position
Comment: since the Belfast/GF Agreement, a major problem within Unionism seems to be the belief that Republican violence had effect but no cause and Unionist violence had cause but no effect.