Letter About a Supremacist Body

Tonight The Pensive Quill features a GARC letter that was hand-delivered by the body to the Parades Commissioners in their Belfast office on the 5th April.

To The Chairman,

Once more a Loyal Order, on this occasion the Apprentice Boys of Derry, have been rewarded for their intransigent attitude and refusal to engage with the residents of The Dales, Mountainview and Ardoyne by receiving your permission to march through our area on Monday 9th April 2012. As the
Residents’ Group that represents the majority of people within the Greater Ardoyne area, and the most vocal and vociferous in our opposition to sectarian parades, we would like to officially register our disgust at this decision.

The Apprentice Boys, as you are well aware, are a Protestant supremacist grouping that has at the centre of its ethos anti-Catholicism and an anti-Irish attitude. They regularly march to assert this supposed supremacy over their neighbours within areas where they are welcome and we agree that they have a right to do so. However within the Greater Ardoyne area, an independent survey carried out by impartial researchers has found that 96%of residents are opposed to all Loyal Order parades through their area. By continually granting Loyal Orders permission to march through Greater Ardoyne, the Parades Commission is infringing upon residents’ right to live free from sectarian intimidation and harassment, as enshrined in legislation in the aftermath of the Good Friday Agreement and subsequent accords.

What makes the determination regarding this particular Parade even more nonsensical is the fact that the participants will be bussed up through Ardoyne, drop them off at the destination point, only for the empty busesto drive back down and park at the back of Holy Cross Chapel. The marchers will then parade through an area where they are not welcome, only to board the same buses again and drive to Derry. It is a scenario which one would only assume has been scripted by Monty Python, yet here we have it played out for real on the streets of Ardoyne in the 21st century.

In light of all the above, the Greater Ardoyne Residents Collective, as the group representing the majority of residents in Ardoyne, Mountainview and The Dales, demand that you reconsider your decision and ban the Apprentice Boys from marching through our area. They are not, never have been and never will be welcome in our area. We are not a “host community” as we have not invited these bigots to our community, rather they are imposing themselves upon us with your blessing and the help of the PSNI and others who wish to facilitate them. We await your response with interest, as it will undoubtedly display to us whether you are genuine about finding a resolution to the parading issue in Ardoyne, or are we to continue to be treated by the Commission as second class citizens.

Yours sincerely,
Greater Ardoyne Residents’ Collective (GARC)
Is é gáire ár gcuid páistí a bheas mar dhíoltas againn


  1. "They regularly march to assert this supposed supremacy over their neighbours within areas where they are welcome and we agree that they have a right to do so"

    Surely they don't have the right to assert supremacy, real or supposed, anywhere?

  2. It is laughable that the antiquated laws of kingdoms and castles are to this day enforcing sectarian practice.
    The sectarian tourist family or the royal family is what these bigots feed off as this gives them the legal right to march and defend their loyalty to a sectarian monarchy. There is no argument the law is sectarian no Catholics need apply.

    If the sectarian law was repealed, that would change the paradigm and without a doubt, the loyal order would definitely not display loyalty and curse the monarchy for accepting Catholics who marry into the family.

    The apprentice boys bused in to assist the local bigots in besieging the residents only adds insult to the usual volatile dispute. I do not object to their right to free assembly but do question the true reasons behind this blatant sectarian need to parade past an area that has suffered greatly.
    What is more important the right for a community to go about its daily life or the right of fanatics acting out a victory that disrupts and threatens the people of the area.
    The law is retarded I am sure that King Billy never marched past the Ardoyne interface. The fanatics marching 14 years on from the GFA are not promoting peace instead are engaging in blatant superiority that generally leads to its predictable unstable conclusion.

  3. Tain Bo

    A post of mine has been lost along the way but I commented along the lines that you have and asked of the various anti parade groups/committees if they ever contemplated challenging the legality of sectarian marching associations founding principles and values of supremacy which is all cloaked behind religious temperance drivel. Expose the lawfulness of their core values in modern Europe which would make any 'right to coat trail' redundant.

  4. Tiarna,

    I am not sure why this approach has never been considered or indeed, if it has been it has never made its way into the public domain.
    Though it seems a more viable action rather than the annual wait and cry victim(s) arguments that arise from all sides on the legality of certain contentious marches.
    They have continually failed in the past and in the case of the Ardoyne interface the law sides with the marchers which in turn sets the stage for the besieged the heavy riot squad presence and the victorious marchers the perfect time tested recipe for mayhem with the approval of the law.

    I agree with you a legal challenge against the source would certainly expose this “divine approved sectarian Law” that has no place in the modern world.