Irish Republican News · October 8, 2010
[Irish Republican News]

[Irish Republican News]
Orange tirade against ‘Roman Catholic IRA’

There have been calls for an investigation into whether anti-Catholic statements made by the head of the Orange Order broke hate laws.


SDLP Assembly member John Dallat has tabled a question at the Stormont Assembly after the order’s Grand Master Robert Saulters described various republican organisations as “just fancy names” for the “Roman Catholic IRA”.

The comments were made in a column of the Orange Standard newspaper.

In the article Mr Saulters hit out at “do-gooders” putting “their two-pence halfpenny worth into parading”, adding: “Surely we have learned something from the Claudy bombing, the Omagh bombing and all the other atrocities, these fancy names of dissident, real, eirigi, they are all the Roman Catholic IRA and let us not forget that.”

Mr Saulters also renamed the Public Prosecution Service as the “Protestant Prosecution Service” and claimed that it took into account religious background when deciding whether or not to prosecute.

Mr Dallat said he has now submitted a written question asking Mr Ford to detail what steps he has taken to establish if Mr Saulters has infringed hate laws.

“If this latest outburst does not infringe the hate laws then those laws must be reviewed immediately and hopefully one way or another the Justice Minister will take steps to take bigotry and sectarianism out of the vocabulary of people in powerful positions to influence good or evil,” he said.

The article by Saulters, the Orange Order’s ‘Grand Master’, also lambasted the planned sale of Northern Ireland Electricity by its Bahrain owners to ESB, the 26-County state-owned power company.

His column also referred to the war in Afghanistan, apparently linking Sinn Fein to the Taliban.

Saulters and the Orange Order said they stood by the comments, which Runai ginearalta eirigi Breandan Mac Cionnaith said were indicative of the sectarian malice at the heart of that organisation.

Mac Cionnaith said: “Yet again, Robert Saulters has exposed himself as a fundamentalist bigot of the worst variety. Throughout its history, the Orange Order has been shown to have a clear and proven record of fomenting sectarian division and religious hatred; Saulters’ comments should be seen in this context.

“The Orange Order is an organisation that carries the images of deceased sectarian killers in its processions, has refused to expel living sectarian killers from its ranks, has actively allied itself to unionist murder gangs and continues to attempt to impose sectarian marches upon nationalist areas. It is an organisation with no credibility - in fact, in recent years its membership has dropped drastically from more than 100,000 to just 39,000.”

Mac Cionnaith continued: “For the record, eirigi is a secular, socialist republican political party that seeks to unite working class people of all creeds and none in a struggle against occupation and exploitation. This is the real reason for the Orange Order’s antipathy towards republicanism - an antipathy which has existed ever since the Order was first used as an armed militia to suppress those catholics, protestants and dissenters who had joined together within the United Irishmen to embrace a republican vision of society based upon liberty, fraternity and equality as opposed to the one based on exploitation, sectarian division and discrimination as favoured by the Order.

“It is to be hoped that those who have attempted to rehabilitate the Orange Order through such shams as Orange Fest will take the continued sectarian comments of its leadership into account when they are considering what to do with their next tranche of funding.”


Meanwhile, former Ireland rugby international Trevor Ringland, who stood against Peter Robinson in East Belfast in this year’s Westminster elections, has resigned from the Ulster Unionist Party over the sectarian views of its new leader.

He confirmed yesterday that he has stood down from the UUP over new party leader Tom Elliott’s refusal to attend any Gaelic sports event.

“We are a deeply divided society, yet politicians are pressing the old buttons and that needs to be challenged,” Mr Ringland said.

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