- Title: N.Ireland's Orange Order sees no appetite for violence at marches
- Date: 9th July 2021
- Summary: BELFAST, NORTHERN IRELAND, UNITED KINGDOM (JULY 9, 2021) (REUTERS) ORANGE ORDER CHIEF EXECUTIVE, IAIN CARLISLE, SPEAKING (SOUNDBITE) (English) ORANGE ORDER CHIEF EXECUTIVE, IAIN CARLISLE, SAYING: "No, we're not picking up any particular appetite. The (July) 12th parades are the 12th parades. There's always a wee bit of, maybe, increased tension in some areas, but we don't have any particular concerns. We're working very closely with the police and community organisations. But, you know, our message would be to people that the protocol is a political problem that needs to be solved politically. So that message needs to be brought constructively to our politicians, both at home and in London. Wrecking your own areas doesn't fix the protocol." STAINED GLASS WINDOW DEPICTING MEDAL READING (English): "GRAND LODGE OF IRELAND" (SOUNDBITE) (English) ORANGE ORDER CHIEF EXECUTIVE, IAIN CARLISLE, SAYING: "I think that the fundamental thing is for us, it's twofold. It's the trade aspect of that. We regard Northern Ireland's place in the UK market would not change. Clearly that has, so the protocol has not delivered what it said it would, but fundamentally for us, it's the constitutional threat to the position of Northern Ireland - and even the ruling in the court last week kicks the issue down the road a little bit. It certainly does fundamentally point to the fact that Northern Ireland's constitutional position has changed and we can't accept that." STAINED GLASS WINDOW WITH TEXT READING (English): "FAITHFUL" (SOUNDBITE) (English) ORANGE ORDER CHIEF EXECUTIVE, IAIN CARLISLE, SAYING: "When we look at the protocol especially, I think it's a further illustration that actually the British government values our relationship less than we do. We put great faith in the political system and the strength of the union, and sometimes that feels a bit like unrequited love. But certainly I think there are major challenges ahead and a strong message needs to be delivered to our government, that this part of the United Kingdom is not being treated the same as other parts of the United Kingdom. And that's a fundamental ask that we have, that we don't have any special treatment, we just want to be treated the same as other parts of the UK." ORANGE ORDER DRUMS AND TAPESTRY (SOUNDBITE) (English) ORANGE ORDER CHIEF EXECUTIVE, IAIN CARLISLE, SPEAKING ABOUT BRITISH PRIME MINISTER BORIS JOHNSON, SAYING: "I'm playing back some of the messages of the various speeches he's made over the past two to three years, including some here. You know, he has told lies. He has not been good to his word. Mervyn Gibson (Grand Secretary of the Orange Lodge) has quoted 'Boris Johnson is a lousy unionist.' The prime minister sees himself as the next Winston Churchill-type figure. We're not seeing the evidence of that. He has major challenges ahead, and if he keeps on this course he will be the prime minister that really sits over the breakup of the union as we know it. Because whatever happens here will have huge repercussions in the Scottish independence debate as well. So I think the prime minister has a very stark choice to make in the coming weeks about how he makes his decision around the demands of the European Union."
- Embargoed: 23rd July 2021 16:15
- Keywords: July 12 Northern Ireland Orange Order Protestants Unionists drums loyalist march marchers
- Location: BELFAST AND DRUMCREE, NORTHERN IRELAND, UNITED KINGDOM
- City: BELFAST AND DRUMCREE, NORTHERN IRELAND, UNITED KINGDOM
- Country: United Kingdom
- Topics: Europe,Government/Politics
- Reuters ID: LVA001EL4CMDJ
- Aspect Ratio: 16:9
- Story Text:AUDIO QUALITY AS INCOMING
The chief executive of Northern Ireland's Protestant Orange Order does not sense any appetite among pro-British unionists to turn the July 12 peak of the annual marching season violent despite "a huge amount of frustration and anger" over Brexit.
Tens of thousands of Northern Irish unionists take part in parades ever year, both large and small, with the main gathering each July 12 celebrating the 1690 victory at the Battle of the Boyne by Protestant King William of Orange over Catholic King James of England and Scotland.
They have often been the spark for sectarian tensions and street violence, even after a 1998 peace deal, and are being carefully watched this year after anger over the trade barriers introduced by the Brexit Northern Ireland protocol contributed to more than a week of riots earlier this year.
"We're not picking up any particular appetite. The 12th parades are the 12th parades, there's always a wee bit of increased tension in some areas but we don't have any particular concerns," Orange Order Chief Executive Iain Carlisle told Reuters in an interview.
"Our message to people is the protocol is a political problem, it needs to be solved politically. Wrecking your own areas will not fix the protocol."
The 35,000-member Protestant organisation cancelled all parades last year due to the COVID-19 pandemic and are planning to hold smaller, local parades this year that will finish earlier to take account of ongoing restrictions.
The main predominantly Catholic, pro-united Ireland parties, who share power in the region with their unionist rivals, support the protocol though also say some changes are needed to win support across Northern Ireland's communities.
Carlisle, who joined the more than 200-year-old organisation as a teen, said the parades will not double up as protests against the checks introduced on some goods moving from mainland Britain to Northern Ireland as the province still borders the EU via member state Ireland.
However he expects the steady stream of protests against the protocol to become larger as restrictions ease and he shares the feelings of many that part of his identity is being erased by being treated differently to the rest of the United Kingdom.
"It's a further illustration that the British government values our relationship less than we do," Carlisle said at the Museum of Orange.
"We put great faith in the political system and the strength of the union and sometimes that feels a bit like unrequited love."
The EU and Britain agreed a temporary fix last week to one of the contentious aspects of the protocol in a bid to ease tensions ahead of the July 12 parades and London intends to lay out its plan for a more permanent solution in the coming weeks.
Carlisle said Prime Minister Boris Johnson faces a stark choice with the future of the union between England, Northern Ireland, Scotland and Wales on the line.
"The prime minister sees himself as the next Winston Churchill-type figure. We're not seeing any evidence of that."
"If he keeps on this course, he will be the prime minister that really sits over the breakup of the union as we know it," he said.
(Production: Jason Cairnduff, Ben Dangerfield)
- Copyright Holder: REUTERS
- Copyright Notice: (c) Copyright Thomson Reuters 2021. Open For Restrictions - http://about.reuters.com/fulllegal.asp
- Usage Terms/Restrictions: None