The Leopard Doesn’t Change its Spots – Hallmarks of Orange Loyalism (1795-2013)

“There has been an organised attempt to deprive Catholic men of their work, and to drive Catholic families from their homes.
“The rioters wave the flag and shout, * We are loyalists’.” Daily Mail 1st September, 1920

Compare and Contrast

Hundreds of people driven out of their homes by paramilitary and sectarian intimidation in Northern Ireland True figures may be higher” – The Guardian. 27th December 2013

Orange/Loyalist anti-Catholicism

english hallmarks


Orangemen/Loyalists Drive Catholics from their Homes

The policy of clearing Catholics from Protestant districts was initiated by the founder of the Orange Order, ‘Orange Jimmy’ Verner in 1794, kept up by his successors in the Orange Order all through the 19th and 20th centuries, and seemingly into the 21st
wrecked house

Armagh 1795: After the battle of the Diamond, the Protestants of the county of Armagh, and of part of the adjoining counties, determined to drive the Catholics from the country. Their cabins were placarded with Cromwell’s motto *To hell or Connaught’ . If the occupants did not leave at once, they were attacked at night by an armed mob. Every article of furniture was shattered or burnt (wrecking). The houses were often set on fire, and the inmates were driven homeless into the world. 12-14 houses were sometimes wrecked in a single night.
18th comeless mother and children
By the end of 1796 an estimated 700 Catholic families, about 4,000 people in all, had been forced out of their homes by the ‘Orange Boys’.

Belfast 1920: At least 2,000 Catholics were driven out of their homes in mixed areas.
Many were given a shelter in the already congested Nationalist areas, hundreds had to lodge in schoolhouses, stores and even stables. Several slept in tents on ground

Belfast 1935: Violence after an Orange Order parade decided to return to the city centre through a Catholic area instead of its usual route left nine people dead. Over 2,000 Catholics were forced to leave their homes across Northern Ireland
18th comeless mother and children

Belfast 1969:


Bombay Street:

7 people were killed and hundreds more wounded. Streets of Catholic houses were burned-out,
burning belfast houses
In the greatest movement of people in Europe since WW2, thousands of mostly Catholic families were driven from their homes.

18th comeless mother and children

One story, later recounted by Jimmy Burns, from Ballymurphy, would encompass much of the haplessness that awaited them:
One of the most harrowing sights I remember was up in St Aiden’s. I went up there to find out where we could get provisions. There was an old man and an old woman in the school and they were in shock. They couldn’t speak. In their lifetime it was the fifth time they had been burned out of their home by loyalists. If there had been a photographer to take a picture of yon grey-haired old woman … She had been burned out as a child; she had been burned out along with her own children; and she was now burned out again after her children had their children.
This was her whole life”


Antrim 2001-2: Catholics living in Antrim have been subjected to a vicious campaign of sectarian intimidation in which loyalist paramilitaries have repeatedly targeted families in their homes, workers at their place of employment, children and their parents at school and even relatives attending a local cemetery.
Loyalist violence in Antrim has already resulted in almost 60 families being forced to flee from their homes, over ten children being withdrawn from school and a number of workers leaving their jobs. After a number of brutal assaults, many Catholic families no longer feel safe to shop or pursue leisure activities in the town.

We are being ghettoised,” said a resident.
Belfast 2013: 411 cases of individuals and families informing the Northern Ireland Housing Executive that they were homeless because they had been driven from their properties but the true figure may be three times as high

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Orangemen/Loyalists Destroy Catholic Livelihoods

Armagh 1795: The webs and looms of Catholic weavers were cut and destroyed, farm animals were hobbled/killed and implements broken.
Belfast 1912: all Catholics were temporarily driven out of Workman and Clark shipyard
kick out
Belfast 1920-22: over 8,000 Catholic workers were expelled from the shipyards, nearly all the engineering works, most large factories, warehouses, shops etc.,
1,225 of the expelled were ex-service men.

Over 2,000 women and girls were expelled from employment in factories, warehouses, etc.
factory girls
All but a very few of the business premises of Belfast Catholics, except those in the very heart of the city, or in the Catholic stronghold known as the Falls, were destroyed. £i,ooo,ooo worth of damage done
burning belfast houses
1923-1973- Widespread discrimination against Catholic workers
orange state
Belfast 1969: Scores of business were destroyed, 83% were Catholic-owned
2012-13Loyalist Flag Protests
“The cost of policing the union flag protests exceeded £15m” confirmed the PSNI chief constable .
2013: Catholics in Northern Ireland are more likely than Protestants to be unemployed, live in larger households and regard themselves as in poorer health.( 2011 census)


english hallmarks


Orangemen/Loyalists Attack Catholic church property

Armagh 1795:Catholic chapels and churches were attacked

Portadown 1900: Orangemen attacked St. Patrick’s Hall,
st-pats hall portadown
a Catholic social club, a priest’s house, Catholic homes and businesses, and the home of an allegedly Catholic Justice of the Peace,
Motivation: they claimed they had been enraged at the failure of the English to relieve the town of Ladysmith, in South Africa, which was under siege by the Boers.

belfat-rioters1920s ammunition
Belfast1920-2: repeated attacks on the Nuns of the Cross and Passion Convent and
st matthews church
St. Matthew’s Church (built 1831) in Ballymacarrett
Belfast July 1920: Military fired several rounds into the Catholic quarters in the Falls district
clonard monastery
and upon the Redemptorist Monastery (Clonard). 7 dead,
including 1 monk,several religious wounded. The total casualties for the day were 12 dead and 46 wounded
June 1970 “Battle of Saint Matthew’s” was a gun battle between republicans and loyalists, who were accused of attacking the church.

Motivation: Claims that 3 Orange Order members were killed after returning from a parade.
27 June 1970: Provisional IRA volunteers defend Clonard Monastery in Belfast from a Loyalist assault. One IRA volunteer and 5 Loyalists are killed.

joemccann poster
July 2012: Orange Order play Famine Song outside St Patrick’s Church, Belfast


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HALLMARK No 4  Sectarian killings 

Orangemen and Loyalists murder Catholics  simply because of their religion

Armagh 1795: 2 unoffending Catholics were murdered in a bog.
Belfast 1920-2: 465 killed; 1,034 wounded.
Belfast 1975-1982: The Shankill Butchers, an Ulster loyalist gang—many of whom were members of the Ulster Volunteer Force (UVF), was responsible for the deaths of at least 23 people, most of whom were killed in sectarian attacks. The gang was notorious for kidnapping and murdering random civilians from the Catholic community; each was beaten ferociously and had their throat hacked with a butcher’s knife.
shankhill butcher victim
Some were also tortured and attacked with a hatchet. The gang also killed six Protestants over personal disputes, and two other Protestants whom it mistook for Catholics.

As far as regards the activities of the UDA, see
Some examples:
2001 Protestant Gavin Brett was murdered in Newtownabbey by the UDA
Motivation: They thought he was a Catholic
gavin brett
July 2001 19-year-old Catholic Ciaran Cummings was shot dead in a killing that police described as “professional and well organised“.
Motivation: The Northern Ireland parades commission reviewed a decision to block the Portadown Orangemen from marching down the nationalist Garvaghy Road in Drumcree
Ballymena May 2006:Michael McIlveen, 15, was attacked by a gang of youths after buying a takeaway pizza on Saturday night.
The youths trapped him in an alley, struck him repeatedly and stamped on his head. He staggered home and was taken to hospital. His family remained at his bedside until his life support machine was switched off at 8pm on Monday.
The depths of sectarian hatred that underpin the annual Orange Twelfth of July activities was exposed in full when Orange supporters in Ahoghill, County Antrim placed a Tricolour mocking Ballymena teenager and sectarian murder victim Michael McIlveen on a bonfire. In a sickening display, not untypical at Orange bonfires, the flag with the words, ‘Fuck Mickey Bo’, was hoisted on the Ahoghill fire.

May 2009:Kevin Brendan McDaid
kevin Mc daid
was “brutally beaten by a sectarian mob” and killed yards from his home in the Somerset Drive area after Rangers beat Celtic to the Scottish league title on Sunday.
Witness Kelly Whittaker claimed around 15 men arrived in the area declaring: “We’re here from the UDA and we’re here to kick some fenians heads in.
“I went over and said ‘Leave him alone, he’s only an auld drunk man’ and all I got was
Motivation: ‘He’s a f****** fenian, he’s getting what he deserves’.”


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Orangemen and Loylists Attack Catholic Children

BELFAST, 1920-21: A 6-year-old girl was knocked down and kicked by a full-grown member of the Orange crowd.
child in 1920s
A bottle of petrol was poured over her and an attempt made to set her on fire.
One  of about 20 Orange hooligans shot dead a 4-month old Catholic child  in its mother’s arms  at  10, Castlereagh Road
baby iand mother 1920

13 -year old Catholic Mary McGowan,
13 year old girl in 1920s
was fatally shot by in Derby Street, by the Special Constabulary,
An Orange gang threw bombs into Catholic children
children playing in belfast street
playing in Milewater Street and Weaver Street.

For full details of the Weaver St attack see

Children of Milltown (Catholic) Industrial School were attacked and stoned by gang of men from Sandy Row.

school children in the 1920s
Orange attack on Conway Street Catholic school wounded a female teacher and two children. The school closed the next day because of the danger to teachers and children.
Children of Catholic Richardson Street School were attacked

Belfast 2001: Holy Cross Protest
holy cross2

Belfast 2013: Red Hand Defenders issues threat to three Catholic schools in Belfast

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Crown Forces Murder Catholics


Belfast1920-22: 3 men were dragged from their beds and murdered in cold blood by members of the R.I.C who took little or no pains to hide their identity.
Patrick and Daniel Duffin, two Catholic young men, were brutally murdered in their homes by members of the local R.I.C.
Catholics Alexander McBride (30), publican; Malachy Halfpenny (22), ex-soldier; William Kerr (26), hairdresser were taken from their beds, brought off some distance in motors, shot dead and then left lying by the wayside.
2 Catholics, John Milligan (24) and Joe Millar, were murdered in their own homes by Specials with bayonets on rifles
1 Catholic and 1 Protestant killed in York Street area. 5 wounded.
David Morrison, Catholic ex-soldier, murdered by the Special Police with six bullets in his head, on Oldpark Road.
Portadown 1935: The RUC fatally wounded 56 year old Hugh Faloon who was standing by his second floor bedroom window.
Belfast August 1969: the RUC fired machine guns at Catholic flats killing a six year old boy and a soldier who was home on leave
rooney plaque
and let Protestants burn out two Catholic streets.
burning belfast houses


Orange Loyalists bomb pubs that Catholics frequent
english hallmarks


Orange Loyalists bomb pubs that Catholics frequent

4 December 1971, the Ulster Volunteer Force (UVF), a loyalist paramilitary group, exploded a bomb at McGurk’s Bar in Belfast, Northern Ireland. The pub was frequented by members of the Irish Catholic and nationalist community.

McGurks bomb
The explosion caused the building to collapse, killing fifteen Catholic civilians and wounding seventeen more. It was the highest death toll from a single incident in Belfast during the Troubles

13th May 1972 a no warning Loyalist car bomb exploded he pub was crowded with men watching the football match between England and West Germany on colour television, killing 3 and injuring 66 people
18 June 1973: The UFF claimed responsibility for throwing a bomb into the Meeting Of The Waters pub on Manor Street, Belfast.
30 October 1993 Greysteel, County Londonderry.
greysteel plaque
Three members of the Ulster Defence Association (UDA), a loyalist paramilitary group, opened fire in a crowded Irish Catholic and nationalist pub during a Halloween party, killing 8 civilians and wounding 13.

18 June 1994, about 24 people were gathered in The Heights Bar watching the Republic of Ireland v Italy World Cup football match.At 10:10pm, two UVF members wearing boiler suits and balaclavas, and armed with assault rifles walked into the pub and opened fire on the crowd.
heights bar
Six men were killed outright, and five other people were wounded. Witnesses said the gunmen then ran to a getaway car, “laughing”.

A memorial plaque in the room where six men were murdered at the Heights Bar in Loughinisland


Orange Loyalists justify their actions using these Motivations:
1)Orangemen seem to live and to thrive on slogans (rem 1960, No Surrender).

2) His most reliable  catch-cries  throughout  all the atrocities he has been committing on his Catholic neighbours are: *’ Sinn Fein Gunmen ” and ” the fearful provocation they are receiving from Catholics.”

3) The Catholics of Belfast and environs have only themselves to blame for the horrors;

4) The trouble is chiefly due to the fact that Catholics refused to recognise the Northern Parliament.

5) Why worry? You’re lucky to survive! In the wake of loyalist attacks, nationalists are often described as ‘lucky to be alive‘. Instead of anger and outrage, the victim is encouraged to feel ‘fortunate‘, in having ‘escaped‘ certain death or injury. As if being ‘lucky to be alive‘ should suffice.

Comment: Catholics aren’t second-class citizens, they are non-citizens, and as such, like the beasts in the fields, loyalists believe they should be content with being ‘lucky to be alive‘.

6) Denial: Referring to the burnings of 161 Catholic houses, on July 10th 1921 the next morning’s News Letter characteristically wrote ” Fires broke out at a number of dwelling-houses and much damage was done by the flames.”
The Northern Whig told its readers that * the attack on the convent on Newtownards Road last night was the work of one or two lads/’

Comment: Not a hint that Orange mobs publicly burned them all !

Background reading
Lecky History of Ireland in the Nineteenth Century (vol. iii., p. 429),

Belfast Riots – A Short History pogrom forces Antrim Catholics to flee