Black is the new Orange, Gerry: Adams is barking up wrong tree

John Coulter with a column from the Irish Daily Star which initially featured in Newshound on 25 February 2014.

Shinner boss Gerry Adams should jump into the Black, rather than piss about with the Orange!

If the Louth TD and Sinn Féin president is genuine about wanting face to face talks with the Protestant Loyal Orders, then he must be sure to select the order which is in step with Unionist thinking.

That's assuming, of course, his hand of friendship is real and he was not indulging his fellow republicans in some pathetic ard fheis antics to secure his leadership until the next Dáil poll.

Maybe the bold bearded one was being cynical? Maybe – like many in Sinn Féin – he knows the Orange Order is riddled with internal rifts over what policy to adopt with nationalist residents' groups?

On one hand are the urban militants – mostly based in Belfast – and best typified by Belfast Orange boss George Chittick's outburst against Protestants learning the Irish language.

Rural Orangemen are more laid back and liberal in their approach to parades, and many prefer face to face talks with nationalist groups to get a workable solution.

Their plan is accommodation rather than confrontation, resulting in many potentially contentious situations being quietly defused through dialogue.

The jewel in the crown of rural Orangeism's 'local arrangement policy' is seen every year in the now traditional Donegal Dander at Rossnowlagh.

It is somewhat ironic that a few dozen Belfast Orangemen cannot get marching in their capital city past the controversial Ardoyne shops in north Belfast, yet thousands of Southern Orangemen can parade in peace in a coastal village in the Republic!

Is there really a stark message here for the Orange Order? Maybe it should consider taking their banners and bands and finding other isolated locations in the Republic where they can hold their commemorations?

If the Orange Order is sending out mixed signals and marching to different political tunes in opposite directions, then perhaps Adams and company held the hand of friendship out to the wrong Loyal Order?

Big Gerry should really have gone Black and opened talks with the more senior, religious and more quietly influential of the four Loyal Orders.

The male-only Royal Black Institution tends to give politics a 'by-ball', focusing instead on church services and social events.

When it was founded in the late 1790s, it was seen as the poor Protestant's Freemasonic lodge.

In the 18th and 19th centuries, being an Irish Freemason was very expensive and precious few working class Protestants could afford to become Master Masons, let alone progress through the upper echelons of Freemasonry to the 'Black Penny' or the 'Green Knights'.

The Royal Black Institution is more overtly Christian and evangelical in its direction. Sinn Féin would have a better chance of reaching a workable and lasting accommodation on parades by using the Black.

The much smaller Apprentice Boys movement have also reached workable solutions in Derry.

Even the staunchly fundamentalist Protestant and working class Independent Orange Order managed to outgun the senior Orange Order by cutting a deal which saw it march at the Boyne itself in 1990, marking the tercentenary of the battle.

Indeed, the Black needs to step in and rescue Orangeism from the parades debacle before Sinn Féin runs more rings around the Loyal Orders.

In the run-up to the Easter Rising centenary commemorations, expect Sinn Féin to be organising more parades in religiously mixed areas.

The Tyrone Volunteers event through the mixed village of Castlederg will become an increasing feature in what is steadily emerging as the traditional republican marching season.

The problem is, just as many Protestants want to walk in majority Catholic areas, how long before we see the Parades Commission grant republicans the chance to stage an IRA commemoration march in an overwhelmingly Protestant area?

Looks like the Green shoe is now covering the Orange sock!


  1. i think they should be allowed march wherever they want. because its their culture. that is the only culture they have, God love them. Imagine, how sad is that. Banging drums through areas they are not welcome is their culture. celebrating genocide. lovely. Sad but that is their culture. let them off. orange culture is pathetic and they should be allowed display their patheticness for all the world to see. drum banging flute blowing bigoted royal masonic genocidalists.

  2. John-

    " He knows the Orange order is riddled with internal rifts "-

    Who caused those internal rifts -

    The Orange order needs riddled from top to bottom-

  3. "The Orange order needs riddled from top to bottom"

    So sayeth Councillor Michael Henry 'The Riddler' McIvor. Is there any shade of shite he will not spew?

  4. So again members of SF/IRA show their real colours with comments like that. No wonder nothing will change when you have these hatefilled bitter bigots representing Communities. Even after years of constant intimidation The Loyal Orders still prove a stumbling block to SF/IRA. In the words of your leader Gerry 'I wasn't in the IRA' Adams "We havn't gone away you know" pmsl

  5. John

    Fair play and good luck with your interest in the Irish language you seem to be a rare breed among Unionists/Loyalists. I'm no fan of Loyal Orders but Sinn £ein councillor McLvor’s comment was totally uncalled for and somewhat hostile to the genuineness of your article.

  6. A bit unfair on North Belfast Orange Order, RBP and Apprentice Boys who have been in Dialogue with Every Ardoyne Residents group for past 11yrs.
    Vast majority of Nationalist dont even know that.
    And Orange Lodges & my own RBP & ABOD have given up Seven return Parades passes Ardoyne shops with agreement with Ardoyne Groups.
    We where first Loyalists & Loyal Orders to engage with Residents groups over a decade ago.
    Sinn Fein lies would have people believe different though.

  7. I wonder will Cllr Michael Henry McIvor deny being plain stupid old michaelhenry if the press comes knocking on his door again?

  8. A bit unfair on North Belfast Orange Order, RBP and Apprentice Boys who have been in Dialogue with Every Ardoyne Residents group for past 11yrs. Vast majority of Nationalist dont even know that

    What I know is a few years ago GARC put out a proposal that goes like this...

    that the Crumlin Road becomes a ‘‘Neutral Zone’’ where no organisation nor group from either community will apply to march along this contentious stretch of road; this would defuse the tense and sometimes hostile situations that arise, and will benefit both communities. Our goal (GARC) is to resolve this issue that plagues our area and is a blight upon our people young and old, local business and essential services etc, we have in the past suggested an alternative route in an attempt to facilitate a solution, but to no avail, so far the Loyal Orders have failed to reciprocate our offer.

    Thomas no one is asking the Loyal orders to stop parading (at least GARC aren't). The only people who are stopping them are themselves. What I also know is there is perfectly viable alternative route for the Loyal Orders to get home to if they want and it goes like this...

    The Loyal Orders simply walk down to the Woodvale Road Road , walk across Woodvale Park until they exit Woodvale Road/Ballgomartin Road jct, take the Ballygomartin Road until it meets Forth River Road (which runs parallel to the Crumlin Road) and exit at Fourth River Drive (…They’ll end up at Ballysillian Presby Chruch).

    Thomas, there has always been an alternative.

  9. Dixie, you would have to wonder what dirt The Riddler has on senior party figures for him to be allowed to continue as such an embarrassment to himself, his party, his constituents and the human race in general.

  10. Anyone on Facebook- have a wee peak at what the ' Protestant coalition ' has to say about my comments on here -

  11. Who else would fucking want him or take him? The shinners will inevitably have him stand down whenever they locate a supporter without the mental capacity of a 5 year old child to replace him, then his only purpose in life will be hanging up election posters on lampposts with someone else’s face on them. But hang on a minute, what about this for a theory, maybe he’s a fucking plant, a closet sinn £ein hater with a mission to discredit and embarrass the party. He clearly has no love for old school republicans so we can rule out he’s working for them, and he’s continuously making the shinners look complete tits, so maybe he’s an MI5 special agent codenamed ‘The Riddler’ being paid pea nuts (real ones) and told he’s doing an extremely important job for the spooks in Whitehall.
    Sounds far fetched doesn’t it? But no more far fetched than Dennis Donaldson, Freddie Scappaticci, Martin McGuinness and the rest of the shinners.

  12. The Riddler asks:

    "Anyone on Facebook- have a wee peak at what the ' Protestant coalition ' has to say about my comments on here"

    The Riddler V Willie Frazer now there's an intellectual showdown I could gladly miss.

    A pair of attention seekers sadly in lack of the proper care and attention they need; nice soft walls and no keyboards.

  13. McIvor your mouth will be your downfall. Then again you in all likelihood are protected...

  14. Dixie-

    My fingers do the typing-is that why your comments are so short and far between-you use your mouth-get a gum-shield lad-and protect your tounge from the sharp letters on the key-board-

    1. I don't think this is Michael Henry, if it is you are beyond a buffoon.

  15. Michaelhenry,

    you commented beneath John's article. That would place him within his rights to say you wrote directly to him.

    As for lies ... please don't dig any deeper. The hole you are digging will soon be as big as your leader's nose.