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10 December 1998 Edition

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Editor's desk

Members of the Junior Orange Order are said to be very surprised that their website guest book has become the cause of attacks on the Order itself. The poor naive little things.

Their web-page has been swamped by attacks from throughout the world. Messages ranged from Mike Rees of Wales who described the Lodge as a bunch of Nazis, to another visitor who told the Young Orangemen that Gerry Adams should be ``the next PM of all-Ireland''.

The Order even came under fire from some of their former supporters. One of the visitors, Helen, claims that her family has always been connected to the Orange Order, but she admits that it has now become a source of embarrassment to her due to the murders of the Quinn children in Ballymoney.

Orange Order supporters did nothing to dispel any of these negative views when one wrote that he was very surprised to see messages from Catholics as he ``did not think that they could read or write, never mind type or use a computer''.

Potential visitors will be happy to note that they can listen to the sound of Lambeg drums, The Sash and many other Loyalist favourites.

 


Last Friday, republicans would have been delighted at a BBC Newsline story. As the presenters reminded the viewers of the day's news, pictures of the loyalist rioting and Drumcree were shown. As the presenter went on to say ``RUC chief constable Ronnie Flannagan blames thugs for the violence, but Portadown Orange Lodge spokesperson David Jones remains adamant that no Orangemen were involved in the protest'', a picture of David Trimble, preparing to take a flight to America, was shown. Does the BBC know something that we don't?

 


Some people just can't accept that time might be catching up with them... and passing them by and leaving them far behind in the distance. Look at this picture of Gerard McGuigan who sneaked behind a Sinn Féin Youth banner at a protest in Belfast last Friday. Some youth!

 


A full-time mature student who was in Ireland recently on a study tour with a party of 50 students from Salford University in Manchester, writes to say who impressed him and who didn't.

The group met representatives from all the political parties, community groups as well a spokesperson for the Orange Order.

An RUC Chief Inspector, Eddie Bell, was to address the group but failed to turn up. Later, at Queen's University the UUP did not appear. Nor did Alex Attwood of the SDLP.

They did meet Brid Rodgers of the SDLP, workers from the Sinn Fein advice centre in Ardoyne, Orange Order Chief Executive George Patton, the PUP, Paul Bew, ex-prisoners in Ardoyne and spent an evening in the Rangers Club on the Shankill Road.

Then they had what they described as ``one of the most bizarre episodes of the tour'' when they met DUP representative Jim Wells, ``who subjected us to a relentless flow of racist rhetoric''.

Mr Wells gave permission for tape recordings to be taken, but at the end he demanded from the stunned students that all copies of the ``lecture'' be handed over to him.

And what was the students' highlight of the trip? Would you believe it was their visit to that wonderful place, Ardoyne? Tough place, Salford.

An Phoblacht
44 Parnell Sq.
Dublin 1
Ireland
 

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