3 September 2009 Edition
Ardoyne anger at loyal order parade and UVF band
THE hypocrisy of the loyal orders was once again exposed last Saturday, 29 August, when members of the Royal Black Preceptory paraded past Ardoyne behind the UVF-linked Pride of Ardoyne flute band.
In its mission statement the Royal Black Preceptory (RBP) portrays itself as a Christian organisation that exists to give its members the opportunity to “study holy scripture in order to understand the Christian faith and demonstrate its relevance for today’s society in order to demonstrate their personal faith in Jesus Christ, their commitment to regular Christian worship and all aspects of charitable living”.
However, the fact the RBP is willing to associate itself with the Pride of Ardoyne band, which commemorates UVF members Sam Rockett, William Hanna and Billy McClure, exposes the loyal order’s willingness to associate itself with loyalist paramilitarism. Indeed, the Pride of Ardoyne band boasts on its website “Fuck talk.... We walk” referring to the continued willingness of the Parades Commission to allow it to parade through Ardoyne.
Their website also displays video footage of a UVF commemoration for Sam Rockett at which masked and armed UVF men paraded and fired volleys of shots from AK 47 rifles.
The Royal Black Preceptory was formed in Ireland in 1797, two years after the formation of the Orange Order in Daniel Winter’s cottage, Loughgall, County Armagh.
The society is formed from Orangemen and can be seen as an elite strand of that order although they are separate institutions. Anyone wishing to be admitted to the Royal Black Institution must first become a member of an Orange Order Lodge, and many are members of both. The Royal Black is often referred to as the senior of the loyal orders.
To become a member of any of the Orange institutions you must be a Protestant. Members of the Orange Orders are not allowed to marry Catholics.
Meanwhile, the news that bands associated with the UVF are holding a so-called band parade this coming weekend to mark the 20th anniversary of UVF killer Brian Robinson further exposes the association of loyalist flute bands with loyalist death squads.
Robinson was ambushed and shot dead by a British Army undercover unit in September 1989, just minutes after he gunned down Ardoyne Catholic Patrick McKenna.
The annual parade to commemorate Robinson, attracts UVF-linked bands from across the North and this Saturday’s parade is expected to bring up to 75 bands and thousands of supporters into the Shankill area for the parade.