Orangemen parading in Bangor, 12 July 2010
|Also called||Orangemen's Day|
|Observed by||Orange Order and many Northern Irish Protestants|
|Significance||Celebration of the Glorious Revolution (1688) and victory of William of Orange at the Battle of the Boyne (1690)|
|Celebrations||Parading, bonfires, erecting flags and bunting.|
|Related to||The Eleventh Night|
The Twelfth (also called the Glorious Twelfth or Orangemen's Day)is an Ulster Protestant celebration held on 12 July. It was first held in the late 18th century in Ulster. It celebrates the Glorious Revolution (1688) and victory of Protestant King William of Orange over Catholic king James II at the Battle of the Boyne (1690), which began the Protestant Ascendancy in Ireland.
Ulster is a province in the north of the island of Ireland. It is made up of nine counties, six of which are in Northern Ireland and three of which are in the Republic of Ireland. It is the second largest and second most populous of Ireland's four provinces, with Belfast being its biggest city. Unlike the other provinces, Ulster has a high percentage of Protestants, making up almost half of its population. English is the main language and Ulster English the main dialect. A minority also speak Irish, and there are Gaeltacht in southern Londonderry, the Gaeltacht Quarter of Belfast and in Donegal, where 25% of the total Gaeltacht population of Ireland is located. Lough Neagh, in the east, is the largest lake in the British Isles, while Lough Erne in the west is one of its largest lake networks. The main mountain ranges are the Mournes, Sperrins, Croaghgorms and Derryveagh Mountains.
The Glorious Revolution, or Revolution of 1688, Irish: An Réabhlóid Ghlórmhar, Scottish Gaelic: Rèabhlaid Ghlòrmhor or Welsh: Chwyldro Gogoneddus, refers to the November 1688 deposition and subsequent replacement of James II and VII as ruler of England, Scotland and Ireland by his daughter Mary II and her Dutch husband William III of Orange. The outcome of events in all three kingdoms and Europe, the Revolution was quick and relatively bloodless, though establishing the new regime took much longer and led to significant casualties. The term was first used by John Hampden in late 1689.
William III, also widely known as William of Orange, was sovereign Prince of Orange from birth, Stadtholder of Holland, Zeeland, Utrecht, Gelderland and Overijssel in the Dutch Republic from 1672 and King of England, Ireland and Scotland from 1689 until his death in 1702. As King of Scotland, he is known as William II. He is sometimes informally known in Northern Ireland and Scotland as "King Billy".
On and around the Twelfth, large parades are held by the Orange Order and Ulster loyalist marching bands, streets are bedecked with British flags and bunting, and large towering bonfires are lit. Today the Twelfth is mainly celebrated in Northern Ireland (where it is a public holiday), but smaller celebrations are held in other parts of the world where Orange lodges have been set up. The Twelfth involves thousands of participants and spectators.
The Loyal Orange Institution, commonly known as the Orange Order, is a Protestant fraternal order in Northern Ireland. It also has lodges in the Republic of Ireland, Scotland and throughout the Commonwealth and United States. The Orange Order was founded in County Armagh in 1795, during a period of Protestant–Catholic sectarian conflict, as a Masonic-style fraternity sworn to maintain the Protestant Ascendancy. It is headed by the Grand Orange Lodge of Ireland, which was established in 1798. Its name is a tribute to the Dutch-born Protestant king William of Orange, who defeated the army of Catholic king James II in the Williamite–Jacobite War (1688–1691). Its members wear orange sashes and are referred to as Orangemen. The order is best known for its yearly marches, the biggest of which are held on or around 12 July.
In Northern Ireland, the Eleventh Night or 11th Night refers to the night before the Twelfth of July, a yearly Ulster Protestant celebration. On this night, large towering bonfires are lit in many Protestant/loyalist neighbourhoods in Northern Ireland and are often accompanied by street parties and loyalist marching bands. The bonfires are mostly made up of wooden pallets and tyres, with some reaching over 100 ft tall. The bonfires are lit to celebrate the Glorious Revolution (1688) and victory of Protestant king William of Orange over Catholic king James II at the Battle of the Boyne (1690), which began the Protestant Ascendancy in Ireland. The event has been condemned for displays of sectarian or ethnic hatred, anti-social behaviour, and for the damage and pollution caused by the fires. The flag of the Republic of Ireland, Irish nationalist/republican symbols, Catholic symbols, and effigies, are burnt on many bonfires. There have been attempts to make the event more family-friendly and environmentally-friendly. It is also known as "bonfire night", in common with other events in which bonfires are lit.
Northern Ireland is a part of the United Kingdom in the north-east of the island of Ireland, variously described as a country, province or region. Northern Ireland shares a border to the south and west with the Republic of Ireland. In 2011, its population was 1,810,863, constituting about 30% of the island's total population and about 3% of the UK's population. Established by the Northern Ireland Act 1998 as part of the Good Friday Agreement, the Northern Ireland Assembly holds responsibility for a range of devolved policy matters, while other areas are reserved for the British government. Northern Ireland co-operates with the Republic of Ireland in several areas, and the Agreement granted the Republic the ability to "put forward views and proposals" with "determined efforts to resolve disagreements between the two governments".
In Ulster, where about half the population is from a Protestant background and half from a Catholic background, the Twelfth has been accompanied by violence since its beginning. Many Catholics and Irish nationalists see the Orange Order and its marches as sectarian, triumphalist and supremacist. The Order is also politically a unionist/loyalist organisation. Violence related to the Twelfth in Northern Ireland worsened during the 30-year ethno-political conflict known as the Troubles. The Drumcree conflict is the most well-known dispute involving Orange marches.
Irish nationalism is a nationalist political movement which asserts that the Irish people are a nation and espouses the creation of a sovereign Irish nation-state on the island of Ireland. Irish nationalism celebrates the culture of Ireland, especially the Irish language, literature, music, and sports. It grew more potent during the period in which all of Ireland was part of the United Kingdom, which led to most of the island seceding from the UK in 1921.
Sectarianism is a form of prejudice, discrimination, or hatred arising from attaching relations of inferiority and superiority to differences between subdivisions within a group. Common examples are denominations of a religion, ethnic identity, class, or region for citizens of a state and factions of a political movement.
Triumphalism is the attitude or belief that a particular doctrine, religion, culture, or social system is superior to and should triumph over all others. Triumphalism is not an articulated doctrine but rather a term that is used to characterize certain attitudes or belief systems by parties such as political commentators and historians.
Attempts have recently been made to downplay the political aspects of the marches and present the Twelfth as a cultural, family-friendly event at which tourists are welcome. Although most events pass off peacefully, some continue to result in violence.
When 12 July falls on a Sunday, the parades are held on the 13th instead.
Orangemen commemorated several events dating from the 17th century onwards, celebrating the continued dominance of Protestantism in Ireland after the Irish Rebellion of 1641 and triumph in the Williamite War in Ireland (1689–91). Early celebrations were 23 October, the anniversary of the 1641 rebellion (an attempted coup d'état by Catholic gentry who tried to seize control of the English administration in Ireland); and 4 November, the birthday of William of Orange, Protestant victor of the Williamite war in the 1690s. Both of these anniversaries faded in popularity by the end of the 18th century.
Protestantism is a Christian minority on the island of Ireland. In the 2011 census of Northern Ireland, 48% (883,768) described themselves as Protestant, which was a decline of approximately 5% from the 2001 census. In the 2011 census of the Republic of Ireland, 4.27% of the population described themselves as Protestant. In the Republic, Protestantism was the second largest religious grouping until the 2002 census in which they were exceeded by those who chose "No Religion". Some forms of Protestantism existed in Ireland in the early 16th century before the English Reformation, but demographically speaking these were very insignificant and the real influx of Protestantism began only with the spread of the English Reformation to Ireland. The Church of Ireland was established by King Henry VIII of England, who had himself proclaimed as King of Ireland.
The Irish Rebellion of 1641 began as an attempted coup d'état by Irish Catholic gentry, who tried to seize control of the English administration in Ireland to force concessions for Catholics. The coup failed and the rebellion developed into an ethnic conflict between the Gaelic Irish and old English Catholics on one side, and both ethnically English Protestants and Scottish/Presbyterian planters on the other. This began a conflict known as the Irish Confederate Wars.
The Williamite War in Ireland (1688–1691), was a conflict between Jacobite supporters of King James II and Williamite supporters of Prince William of Orange. It is also called the Jacobite War in Ireland or the Williamite–Jacobite War in Ireland.
The Twelfth itself originated as a celebration of the Battle of Aughrim, which took place on 12 July 1691 in the 'Old Style' (O.S.) Julian calendar then in use. Aughrim was the decisive battle of the Williamite war, in which the predominantly Irish Catholic Jacobite army was destroyed and the remainder capitulated at Limerick, whereas the Boyne was less decisive. The Twelfth in the early 18th century was a popular commemoration of Aughrim, featuring bonfires and parades. The Battle of the Boyne (fought on 1 July 1690) was commemorated with smaller parades on 1 July. However, the two events were combined in the late 18th century.The first reason for this was the British switch to the Gregorian calendar in 1752, which repositioned the nominal date of the Battle of the Boyne to 11 July New Style (N.S.) (with the Battle of Aughrim nominally repositioned to 23 July N.S.). The second reason was the foundation of the Orange Order in 1795. The Order preferred the Boyne, due to William of Orange's presence there. It has also been suggested that in the 1790s (a time of Roman Catholic resurgence) the Boyne, where the Jacobites were routed, was more appealing to the Order than Aughrim, where they had fought hard and died in great numbers.
The Battle of Aughrim was the decisive battle of the Williamite War in Ireland. It was fought between the largely Irish Jacobite army loyal to James II and the forces of William III on 12 July 1691, near the village of Aughrim, County Galway.
Old Style (O.S.) and New Style (N.S.) are terms sometimes used with dates to indicate that the calendar convention used at the time described is different from that in use at the time the document was being written. There were two calendar changes in Great Britain and its colonies, which may sometimes complicate matters: the first was to change the start of the year from Lady Day to 1 January; the second was to discard the Julian calendar in favour of the Gregorian calendar. Closely related is the custom of dual dating, where writers gave two consecutive years to reflect differences in the starting date of the year, or to include both the Julian and Gregorian dates.
The Julian calendar, proposed by Julius Caesar in 708 AUC (46 BC/BCE), was a reform of the Roman calendar. It took effect on 1 January 709 AUC (45 BC/BCE), by edict. It was the predominant calendar in the Roman world, most of Europe, and in European settlements in the Americas and elsewhere, until it was gradually replaced by the Gregorian calendar, promulgated in 1582 by Pope Gregory XIII.
The Order's first marches took place on 12 July 1796 in Portadown, Lurgan and Waringstown.The Twelfth parades of the early 19th century often led to public disorder, so much so that the Orange Order and the Twelfth were banned in the 1830s and 40s (see below).
Portadown is a town in County Armagh, Northern Ireland. The town sits on the River Bann in the north of the county, about 24 miles (39 km) southwest of Belfast. It is in the Armagh, Banbridge and Craigavon Borough Council area and had a population of about 22,000 at the 2011 Census. For some purposes, Portadown is treated as part of the "Craigavon Urban Area", alongside Craigavon and Lurgan.
Lurgan is a town in County Armagh, Northern Ireland. The town is near the southern shore of Lough Neagh and is in the north-eastern corner of County Armagh. Lurgan is about 18 miles (29 km) south-west of Belfast and is linked to the city by both the M1 motorway and the Belfast–Dublin railway line. It had a population of about 23,000 at the 2001 Census. It is within the Armagh, Banbridge and Craigavon district.
Waringstown is a village in County Down, neighbouring the towns of Lurgan and Banbridge. It lies within the parish of Donaghcloney, and in the barony of Iveagh Lower, Lower Half. In the 2001 Census it had a population of 2,523 people. Over the years, the village has been bestowed numerous awards, including "Best Kept Small Town" for its floral displays and pleasant appearance.
In the weeks leading up to the Twelfth, Orange Order and other Ulster loyalist marching bands hold numerous parades in Northern Ireland. The most common of these are lodge parades, in which one Orange lodge marches with one band. Others, such as the "mini-Twelfth" at the start of July, involve several lodges.
From June to August, Protestant, unionist areas of Northern Ireland are bedecked with flags and bunting, which are usually flown from lamp-posts and houses. The most common flags flown are the Union Jack and Ulster Banner. Kerbstones may be painted red, white and blue and murals may be made. Steel or wooden arches, bedecked with flags and Orange symbolism, are raised over certain streets.These 'Orange arches' are inspired by triumphal arches.
As well as the Union Jack and Ulster Banner, the flags of illegal loyalist paramilitary groups—such as the Ulster Volunteer Force (UVF) and Ulster Defence Association (UDA)—are flown in some areas. The raising of these flags near Catholic/Irish nationalist neighbourhoods, or in "neutral" areas, often leads to tension and sometimes violence. It is seen as deliberately provocative and intimidating.
On the night before The Twelfth—the "Eleventh Night"—huge towering bonfires are lit in many Protestant unionist neighbourhoods in Northern Ireland. In many of these areas the bonfires are family-friendly community celebrations. However, not all Protestants attend the bonfires and most Catholics avoid them. They have been condemned for displays of sectarian and ethnic hatred, anti-social behaviour, and for the damage and pollution caused by the fires.The flag of the Republic of Ireland, Irish nationalist symbols, Catholic symbols, and effigies, are usually burnt on the fires. More recently, symbols of the large Polish immigrant community have been burnt on the fires, which the Polish Association of Northern Ireland has described as "racist intimidation". Loyalist paramilitaries have also used the event to hold "shows of strength", in which masked gunmen fire volleys of shots into the air and petrol bombs used to light the bonfire. However, in recent years, there have been attempts to make the bonfires more family-friendly and environmentally-friendly.
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The main way in which the Twelfth is celebrated is through large parades involving Orangemen and supporting bands. Most of the parades are in Northern Ireland, although Orange lodges elsewhere often hold parades too. The parade usually begins at an Orange Hall, proceeds through the town or city and out to a large park or field where the marchers, their friends and family, and the general public gather to eat, drink and listen to speeches by clergymen, politicians and senior members of the Order. In the past the Twelfth has been a major venue for discussion of political issues. A church service will also be held and sometimes band prizes will be awarded.Within Northern Ireland, each District Lodge usually organises its own parade. In rural districts the parade will rotate around various towns, sometimes favouring those in which there is less likely to be trouble, but in other years choosing those in which it is felt the 'right to march' needs to be defended.
In Northern Ireland, there is a long tradition of Protestant and loyalist marching bands, which can be found in most towns. The Orangemen hire these bands to march with them on the Twelfth. An instrument almost unique to these marches is the Lambeg drum. Popular songs include "The Sash" and "Derry's Walls". Explicitly violent songs such as "Billy Boys" may also be played.
The vast majority of marchers are men, but there are some all-women bands and a few mixed bands. Some all-male bands have female flag or banner carriers. There are also some Women's Orange Lodges which take part in the parades. Orangewomen have paraded on the Twelfth in some rural areas since at least the mid-20th century, but were banned from the Belfast parades until the 1990s.
Orangemen on parade typically wear a dark suit, an Orange sash, white gloves and a bowler hat.Certain Orangemen carry a ceremonial sword. In hot weather, many lodges will parade in short-sleeved shirts. Orangewomen have not developed a standard dress code, but usually dress formally. The supporting bands each have their own uniforms and colours. Both the Orangemen and bands carry elaborate banners depicting Orange heroes, historic or Biblical scenes, and/or political symbols and slogans. The most popular image is that of King William of Orange crossing the River Boyne during the famous battle there.
At the field, some lodges and bands don humorous outfits or accessories and make the return journey in them, and the mood is generally more mellow, although in times of tension it can also be more aggressive.[ citation needed ]
The Northern Ireland parades are given extensive local TV and press coverage and the BBC programme The Twelfth is the longest running outside broadcast programme in Northern Ireland.
In Northern Ireland, where almost half the population is from an Irish Catholic background, The Twelfth is a tense time. Orange marches through Irish Catholic and Irish nationalist neighbourhoods are usually met with opposition from residents, and this sometimes leads to violence. Many people see these marches as sectarian, triumphalist,supremacist, and an assertion of British and Ulster Protestant dominance. The political aspects have caused further tension. Marchers insist that they have the right to celebrate their culture and walk on public streets, particularly along their 'traditional routes'. In a 2011 survey of Orangemen throughout Northern Ireland, 58% of Orangemen said they should be allowed to march through Catholic or Irish nationalist areas with no restrictions; 20% said they should negotiate with residents first. Some have argued that members of both communities once participated in the event; although it has always been a Protestant affair and many Catholics opposed the marches.
Violence has accompanied Twelfth marches since their beginning.
During the Troubles (late 1960s to late 1990s), the Twelfth was often accompanied by riots and paramilitary violence.[ citation needed ] In 1972, three people were shot dead on the Twelfth in Portadown and two people were killed in Belfast. Of the five in total, two were killed by Republican groups and three were killed by Loyalist groups. On the Twelfth in 1998, during the Drumcree conflict, three young boys were killed when loyalists firebombed their house in Ballymoney. The boys' mother was a Catholic, and their home was in a mainly Protestant housing estate. The killings provoked widespread anger from both Catholics and Protestants.
Since the Troubles began, some bands hired to appear at Twelfth marches have openly shown support for loyalist paramilitary groups, either by carrying paramilitary flags and banners or sporting paramilitary names and emblems.A number of prominent loyalist militants were Orangemen and took part in their marches. In February 1992, the loyalist Ulster Defence Association (UDA) shot dead five Catholic civilians in a betting shop in Belfast. When Orangemen marched past the shop that 12 July, some marchers held up five fingers in mockery of the five dead. The Secretary of State, Patrick Mayhew, said that they "would have disgraced a tribe of cannibals".
Every Twelfth between 1970 and 2005, British Army soldiers were deployed in Belfast to help police the parades.Due to improved policing, dialogue between marchers and residents, and the Northern Ireland peace process, parades have been generally more peaceful since the 2000s. The Parades Commission was set up in 1998 to deal with contentious parades.
During the Troubles some Irish Catholic and nationalist areas organised festivals to keep their children away from the parades, where they might come into conflict with Protestant children, and to make the Twelfth more enjoyable for their communities.
Although mostly a Northern Irish event, the Twelfth is also celebrated in other countries with strong links to Ulster or a history of settlement by Irish Protestants. Outside of Northern Ireland, there are commemorations of The Twelfth in Scotland – particularly in and around Glasgow, where most Irish immigrants settled. In England and Wales, Orange marches aren't common and Orange Order membership is found primarily in the Merseyside region, although numbers are still small.Marches here tend to be held a week or so before the Twelfth, due to the number of bands and lodges who travel to Northern Ireland to march there. The Liverpool lodges parade both in the city and in the seaside resort of Southport on 12 July.
There are also Twelfth marches in Canada and Australia. As the longest consecutively held parade in North America (first held in 1821), the Twelfth March was the largest parade in Torontowhen thousands of Orangemen would march in front of tens of thousands of spectators, until the 1970s. At the time, the Orange Order held such sway that membership in the Order was an unspoken prerequisite for holding civic office. However, the march's popularity has drastically diminished in recent years, as only about 500 people participate in modern Orange parades. Orangemen's Day' is still a significant holiday in the Canadian province of Newfoundland and Labrador, where it is an official provincial paid holiday.
An increase in membership in recent years has seen a revival of the Order in Australia and an annual Twelfth of July parade is currently held in Adelaide.Parades were also formerly held in New Zealand on the Twelfth.
Until the partition of Ireland, the Twelfth was celebrated by Protestants in many parts of Ireland, but the reduction of Protestant political influence in what is now the Republic of Ireland has meant the only remaining yearly parade is in Rossnowlagh, which was held on the Twelfth until the 1970s, when it was moved to the weekend before.
In July 2010, former Tánaiste Michael McDowell said that the Twelfth should be made a national holiday in the Republic of Ireland as well as in Northern Ireland..
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Ardoyne is a working class and mainly Catholic and Irish nationalist district in north Belfast, Northern Ireland. It gained notoriety due to the large number of incidents during The Troubles.
The Independent Loyal Orange Institution is an offshoot of the Orange Institution, a Protestant fraternal organisation based in Northern Ireland.
Ulster loyalism is a political ideology found primarily among Ulster Protestants in Northern Ireland who maintain a strong desire to remain part of the United Kingdom. Many Ulster Protestants are descendants of settlers from Great Britain in the 17th and 18th centuries. Like most unionists, loyalists are attached to the British monarchy, support the continued existence of Northern Ireland, and oppose a united Ireland. Ulster loyalism has been described as a kind of ethnic nationalism and "a variation of British nationalism". It is strongly associated with paramilitarism.
The Grand Orange Lodge of Scotland, or Loyal Orange Institution of Scotland, is the branch of the Orange Order in Scotland. It is a Protestant fraternity that defends and promotes Protestantism, Britishness, and the continued unity of the United Kingdom. It also campaigns against Scottish independence and was an official participant in the 2014 independence referendum. Its headquarters are in Bridgeton, Glasgow and it claims about 50,000 members, the vast majority of whom are working-class Protestants from the Scottish Lowlands.
Banners are a significant part of the Culture of Northern Ireland, particularly for the Protestant/unionist community, and one of the region's most prominent types of folk art. They are typically carried in parades such as those held on the Twelfth of July, Saint Patrick's Day and other times throughout the year. Generally these are organised by societies such as the Orange Order, the Ancient Order of Hibernians, the Royal Black Institution and the Apprentice Boys of Derry, and the banners are typically commissioned, and represent, a lodge within one of these societies. Banners are also carried by trade unions and church groups, and by marching bands. Most banners are painted by professionals and executed on silk, although canvas was a more popular material in the past. Most have a painting on each side, usually depicting different subjects, and the name and number of the lodge. Most banners have one subject per side, surrounded by flourishes, scrolls, and other decoration. Despite being in many ways a sectarian art form, Catholic and Protestant banners are usually very similar in terms of style and composition. Apart from subject matter, the main difference is colour: Orange Order banners make heavy use of the colour orange and to a lesser extent red, white, blue and purple, while Catholic banners tend to feature a lot of green.
Parades are an important part of the culture of Northern Ireland. Although the majority of parades are held by Ulster Protestant, unionist or Ulster loyalist groups, Irish nationalist, republican and non-political groups also parade. The Parades Commission exists to settle disputes about controversial parades, and although not all parading groups recognise the Commission's authority, its decisions are legally binding.
The Orange Institution, better known as the Orange Order, is a Protestant fraternal organisation based in Northern Ireland. It has been a strong supporter of Irish unionism and has had close links with the Ulster Unionist Party, which governed Northern Ireland from 1922 to 1972. The Institution has lodges throughout Ireland, although it is strongest in the North. There are also branches throughout the British Commonwealth, and in the United States. In the 20th century, the Institution went into sharp decline outside Northern Ireland and County Donegal. Observers have accused the Orange Institution of being a sectarian organisation, due to its goals and its exclusion of Roman Catholics and close relatives of Catholics as members. The Order has a substantial fraternal and benevolent component.
The Drumcree conflict or Drumcree standoff is an ongoing dispute over yearly parades in the town of Portadown, Northern Ireland. The Orange Order insists that it should be allowed to march its traditional route to and from Drumcree Church. However, most of this route is through the mainly Catholic Irish nationalist part of town. The residents, who see the march as sectarian, triumphalist and supremacist, have sought to ban it from their area. The Orangemen see this as an attack on their traditions; they had marched the route since 1807, when the area was mostly farmland. The "Drumcree parade" is held on the Sunday before the Twelfth of July.
The Battle of St Matthew's or Battle of Short Strand was a gun battle that took place on the night of 27–28 June 1970 in Belfast, Northern Ireland. It was fought between the Provisional Irish Republican Army (IRA) and Ulster loyalists in the area around St Matthew's Roman Catholic church. This lies at the edge of the Short Strand, a Catholic enclave in a mainly-Protestant part of the city. Violence had erupted there, and in other parts of Belfast, following marches by the Orange Order. The battle lasted about five hours and ended at dawn when loyalists withdrew. The British Army and police were deployed nearby but did not intervene. Three people were killed and at least 26 wounded in the fighting, while another three were killed in north Belfast.
Orange walks are a series of parades held annually by members of the Orange Order on a regular basis during the summer in Ulster, mostly in Scotland, occasionally in England, and throughout the Commonwealth. These typically build up to 12 July celebrations which mark Prince William of Orange's victory over King James II at the Battle of the Boyne in 1690. Although the term "march" or "parade" is widely used in the media, the Order prefers terms such as "walk" or "demonstration". Orange walks have faced opposition from Catholics, Irish Nationalists, Scottish Nationalists and others who see the parades as sectarian and triumphalist.
The Tullyvallen massacre took place on 1 September 1975, when Irish republican gunmen attacked an Orange Order meeting hall at Tullyvallen, near Newtownhamilton in County Armagh, Northern Ireland. The Orange Order is an Ulster Protestant and unionist brotherhood. Five Orangemen were killed and seven wounded in the shooting. The "South Armagh Republican Action Force" claimed responsibility, saying it was retaliation for a string of attacks on Catholic civilians by Loyalists. It is believed members of the Provisional IRA carried out the attack, despite the organisation being on ceasefire.
The 2011 Northern Ireland riots were a series of riots between 20 June 2011 and 16 July 2011, starting originally in Belfast, before spreading to other parts of Northern Ireland. They were initiated by the Ulster Volunteer Force.
From 6 to 11 July 1997 there were mass protests, fierce riots and gun battles in Irish nationalist districts of Northern Ireland. Irish nationalists/republicans, in some cases supported by the Provisional Irish Republican Army (IRA), attacked the police and British Army. The protests and violence were sparked by the decision to allow the Orange Order to march through a Catholic/nationalist neighbourhood of Portadown. Irish nationalists were outraged by the decision and by the RUC's aggressive treatment of those protesting against the march. There had been a bitter dispute over the march for many years.
Brian Robinson was a loyalist from Belfast, Northern Ireland and member of the Ulster Volunteer Force (UVF) who was witnessed murdering a Catholic civilian. His death at the hands of an undercover British Army unit is one of the few from the alleged shoot-to-kill policy in Northern Ireland to have involved a loyalist victim.
During the 2012 North Belfast Riots sectarian disorder and rioting between loyalists and republicans occurred when rival parades, authorised by the Parades Commission, took place.
The Flag of the Orange Order, also known as the Boyne Standard or the Orange Standard, is the flag used by the Northern Irish Protestant fraternal organisation, the Orange Order. The flag consists of an orange background with purple star and a Cross of Saint George in canton.
The 2005 Belfast riots were serious loyalist riots and civil disturbances in Belfast, Northern Ireland in September 2005. The violence broke out after the Protestant Orange Order Whiterock parade was re-routed to avoid the Irish nationalist Springfield Road area. Clashes also broke out in several towns in County Antrim. The incidents took place amid a fierce feud between members of the Ulster Volunteer Force (UVF) and Loyalist Volunteer Force (LVF), who are also thought to have orchestrated the riots.
This article covers rioting in July and August. For riots linked to the City Hall protests, see Belfast City Hall flag protests.
Some marches have been a source of tension between nationalists who see the parades as triumphalist and intimidating, and Orangemen who believe it is their right to walk on public roads.
The Orange Order's parades, with their distinctive soundtrack of thunderous drums and pipes, are seen by many Catholics in Northern Ireland as a triumphalist display.
The overwhelming majority of nationalists view Orange parades as triumphalist coat trailing exercises.
The annual Orange marches have passed relatively peacefully in Northern Ireland this year, and it seems a good faith effort is underway to try and reorient the day from one of triumphalism to one of community outreach and a potential tourist attraction ... The 12th may well have been a celebration of a long ago battle at the Boyne in 1690, but it came to symbolize for generations of Catholics the "croppie lie down" mentality on the Orange side. The thunderous beat of the huge drums was just a small way of instilling fear into the Nationalist communities, while the insistence on marching wherever they liked through Nationalist neighborhoods was also a statement of supremacy and contempt for the feelings of the other community.
Modern Irish republicans may look back to the United Irishmen as the founders of their tradition. But the one present-day organisation that can trace an unbroken descent from the 1790s is the Protestant supremacist Orange Order.
Ignatieff explains how the victory of William of Orange over Catholic King James 'became a founding myth of ethnic superiority...The Ulstermen's reward, as they saw it, was permanent ascendancy over the Catholic Irish'. Thus, Orange Order marches have come to symbolise the supremacy of Protestantism over Catholicism in Northern Ireland.
At the close of the eighteenth century, Protestants, again feeling the threat of the Catholic majority, began forming secret societies which coalesced into the Orange Order. Its main purpose has always been to maintain Protestant supremacy