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Orange Grand Master Loses the Bap October 5, 2010

Posted by Garibaldy in Unionism.
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The Orange Standard is, I am sure, a fine publication. The voice of the Grand Orange Lodge of Ireland (which, in an almost pleasing display of petty symbolism that belies its own name, has deliberately plumped for a .co.uk web address), it seems that the current edition has an article in which the Grand Master, Robert Saulters, who previously distinguished himself by blaming the police for loyalists shooting at them over a disputed march in 2005, has lost the bap. The Belfast Telegraph reports that Saulters has gone on the attack over a number of issues that he obviously believes are a threat to the Ulster Protestant way of life. These include the fact that the ESB is probably going to take over NIE (from its middle eastern owners) via some “dirty dealing”, and he claims that the Public Prosecution Service should be known as the Protestant Prosecution Service. On a less amusing note, there is also this:

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.

Charming. Well, outrageous actually, and something you’d expect to hear from the likes of Johnny Adair. It makes you wonder just how paranoid the Orange Order has become. See what happens to you when the DUP lets you down?

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1. EWI - October 5, 2010

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.

Leaving aside the Old IRA, names of well-known Protestant IRA men in more recent decades do come to mind. Can’t think of a single Catholic member of a Loyalist paramilitary organisation*, though.

* for the purposes of this comparison, I’m not considering RC members of the British security forces.

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2. IWE - October 5, 2010

‘Leaving aside the Old IRA, names of well-known Protestant IRA men in more recent decades do come to mind.’ Like who? Well-known?

‘Can’t think of a single Catholic member of a Loyalist paramilitary organisation*, though.’
Some of their killings were aided by Catholics, including a man from Ballymurphy out for revenge. It’s documented.

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EWI - October 5, 2010

Some of their killings were aided by Catholics, including a man from Ballymurphy out for revenge. It’s documented.

I’m waiting here for information on where it’s “documented”. Care to share?

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EWI - October 5, 2010

‘Leaving aside the Old IRA, names of well-known Protestant IRA men in more recent decades do come to mind.’ Like who? Well-known?

Ronnie Bunting?

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3. Ramzi Nohra - October 5, 2010

Actually I think there were some catholic-born UDA members in portadown. However your point still stands

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4. Tiny Planet » Orange madness - October 5, 2010

[...] Lounge Revolution makes some good comments on how the latest issue of The Orange Standard could be a sign of how paranoid the Orange Order has [...]

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5. IWE - October 5, 2010

’m waiting here for information on where it’s “documented”. Care to share?’

I’d like you to do your own research but I’ll give you a hint. Gerry Adams has written about it- the brother of a local ‘hard man’ shot dead by the IRA for looking at them sideways or something came back from Australia, made contact with the UVF and helped them target a number of republicans in the 1970s.
Portadown is another story- there have been Catholics charged with LVF membership there.

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EWI - October 5, 2010

I’d like you to do your own research but I’ll give you a hint. Gerry Adams has written about it- the brother of a local ‘hard man’ shot dead by the IRA for looking at them sideways or something came back from Australia, made contact with the UVF and helped them target a number of republicans in the 1970s.

Still waiting on a named person or a document title here.

Ramzi, I hadn’t heard of that.

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IWE - October 5, 2010

Still waiting for your ‘well known’ Protestant IRA men as well.

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EWI - October 5, 2010

Ronnie Bunting?

(Echo?)

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6. IWE - October 5, 2010

Re the above: the original shooting took place in Ballymurphy in December 1970. Should have included that in text.

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WorldbyStorm - October 5, 2010

According to t’internet Ivor Bell, a close associate of Adams for many years, and a member of the AC, was a Protestant. I’ve no idea if that is true, but it points up the problematic aspects of trying to use religion as a defining element.

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WorldbyStorm - October 5, 2010

Ooops, am I thinking of Ivan Barr… Former OSF later PSF… a good guy by all accounts. And his religion was entirely incidental to his politics.

Not sure though he counts under the definition of IRA members.

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7. HAL - October 5, 2010

they are all the Roman Catholic IRA and let us not forget that.

Im sure people could mention some atheists or were they in a different IRA .On another note were any of them Roman catholic I remember been told of some mass excommunication for all IRA members.

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8. Johnny Guitar - October 5, 2010

I picked up a copy of the ‘Orange Standard’ recently from Eason on Donegall Place. Dreadful. Not even entertainingly dreadful, just dreadful. Up there with Garret Fitzgerald’s Saturday ‘Irish Times’ columns in the list of things the CIA could use as an alternative to waterboarding.

I believe the case that IWE is referring to from Ballymurphy in the early seventies is addressed in Henry McDonald’s history of the UVF, the appropriately titled ‘UVF’. It was published by Poolbeg Press back in 1997 and there was a revised edition released a few years back.

I am interested in these rumours of Catholic loyalist paramilitaries in the Portadown area. I know the town fairly well and have never come across this curious phenomenon before, though I am willing to be corrected on this one. There was a fairly senior figure within the LVF from the north Armagh area, Robin King, whose mother (as far as I remember) was Catholic prior to her marriage. It was the sort of thing the ‘Sunday World’ had a field day with but I don’t know whether that meets the strict criteria that has been set here. As for Protestant IRA members, I cannot think of any from the recent conflict. You could probably, if you were arsed, draw up a surprisingly large list from the pre-1969 days. George Gilmore from, oddly enough, Portadown springs to mind.

But I wouldn’t bother tearing my hair out trying to find examples of these little sectarian quirks. There wasn’t really much of an attraction in joining an organisation in order that you could slaughter your co-religionists, was there?

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Ramzi Nohra i - October 6, 2010

The Ballymyrphy guy seemed more on a personal revenge kick. From the UVf book he didn’t come across as a huge believer in The Act of Union

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Johnny Guitar - October 6, 2010

I agree. Just highlighting the source.

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Ramzi Nohra i - October 6, 2010

Actually Johnny I may be thinking of Larne wrt catholic UDA members. Apologies.

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9. IWE - October 5, 2010

‘Ronnie Bunting?’

I’m afraid the purists would say Stickies don’t count and you can factor in that it didn’t stop the INLA carrying out openly sectarian killings.

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EWI - October 5, 2010

I’m afraid the purists would say Stickies don’t count and you can factor in that it didn’t stop the INLA carrying out openly sectarian killings.

Well, I’m neither Stickie nor Provo, so I’m applying the man-in-the-street criteria here.

And the “IWE” is cute.

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10. shane - October 5, 2010

He’s probably feeling under pressure from the hardliners:

http://www.orangereformation.co.uk/

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11. Ramzi Nohra i - October 6, 2010

Hi EWI
My info on Potadown rc loyalists was from various tabloids. I got the feeling they had very tenuous Catholic connections, and seemed to be more into the organised crime element of paramilitarism.

On the other side, a protestant Provo from Donegal died by his own bomb in Dungannon in the mid 70s I believe.

I also think one of the maze escapees was a prod ex- RAF ( that’s the airforce not the German dudes) from tigers bay.

I also think there was a prod Provo from Fermanagh or monaghon who was jailed for a few years for smuggling activities, but I cant remember his name. And I could be wrong anyway…

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WorldbyStorm - October 6, 2010

I’d have thought as you say that that was criminality rather than political conviction?

On a slight tangent I met a lot of guys from the North in the late 1980s who were from a Protestant background working in Dublin who took from my then WP influenced views a strongly nationalist viewpoint on the North and more than mild support for SF. So it would then and now have been no surprise that the IRA would have contained, as it clearly did, some Protestant members. But got to say as I did above, that I find the discussion of religious identity a complete irrelevance given that these were formations positioned within issues socio-political and of national identity.

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12. ejh - October 6, 2010

On another tangent, not being Irish I occasionally come across expressions here of which I was not previously aware, a process which, I feel, rather enriches my life. “Lose the bap” is one of these and my thanks are due to the gentleman for introducing me to the phrase.

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Garibaldy - October 6, 2010

You’re very welcome EJH.

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13. entdinglichung - October 6, 2010

John Graham was both a devout Anglican and Belfast Commander of the IRA in the 1940ies

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Terry McDermott - October 6, 2010

John Graham was a Protestant but the information in the wiki entry is almost all wrong (surprise). Gilmore and Plant had nothing to do with Belfast and very little to do with each other. Btw neither Ivor Bell nor Ivan Barr were Protestant.

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Ramzi Nohra i - October 6, 2010

Graham was in the “prod squad”. A kick -ass golfer, apparently. He would also continuously rail against the various heresies of Rome. He features in Joe Cahill’s autobiography.

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14. Dr. X - October 6, 2010

Richard English’s book on the IRA notes that in the early 1930s there was an all-Protestant IRA unit on the Shankill.

WBS – do you mean that your 1980s protestant colleagues thought that your WP views were the same thing as standard nationalist/SF views? I’m unclear.

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Terry McDermott - October 6, 2010

There was a Protestant unit in the Belfast IRA in the 40s, not the 30s.

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15. Terry McDermott - October 6, 2010

A few Loyalist paramilitaries from mixed marraiges if that contributes to the discussion: also a few married to Catholics, believe it or not.

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ejh - October 6, 2010

Talking of odd mixes, would Terry McDermott be anything to do with Remi Moses?

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Terry McDermott - October 7, 2010

Old adverseries, but a lot of mutual respect.

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16. Jim Monaghan - October 6, 2010

The late Vincent McDowell, ex NICRA, ex Labour Party, ex Green, knew Graham. He was in the same unit during WW2. He used to joke that there was only one RC officer and he broke under interrogation.
Vincent published a few books. There is probably a mention or two of Graham. Vincent held him in very high esteem.There was a few obits. when Graham died.
Oh, the famous banned Provo march in Dublin, 1977?, had Geoffrey Coulter, former editor An Phoblach in 30s, and of Protestant background on the platform.Coulter was very leftwing and was close to Trotskyism.

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Ramzi Nohra - October 7, 2010

I think Vincent did a good book on the IRB

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17. Joe - October 6, 2010

First, to get back on topic, that stuff from Saulters is dreadful. Horrible sectarian bilge.

Now to get back off-topic again. If I recall correctly, both the The Lost Revolution and Deadly Divisions name at least three Protestants who were members of OIRA and/or INLA. One Prod OIRA man was killed (again, if I recall correctly) by the Provos in a feud and there was another Prod member of INLA killed by the UDA along with Bunting.
Also, there was a thread on here a couple of years back about Ivan Barr and I’m pretty sure he was a West Tyrone prod.
Rest in peace, all of them.

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18. Paul Wilson - October 7, 2010

Joe they were Tom Berry and Robbie Elliman both OIRA members, killed by Provos in 1975.

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19. CMX - October 8, 2010

I would caution against saying that protestant republicans are irrelevent as the fact anyone from a non RC backgorund would join the ‘ra does neatly contradict the idea that the IRA (including, or in addition to its offshoots) is a roman catholic organization. Similarly why would self-proclaimed “Islamic Socialist” Mu’ammar Gadhaffi support a Roman Catholic organization. Bernadette Sands (and I believe Devlin also) is a very staunch atheist so it would be interesting to hear her response to the Grandmaster’s comments.
On another tangent (related to North Africa’s role in the conflict and points about Catholic Loyalists) I’ve always wondered did the Shoukri brothers come from an Egyptian Coptic Christian or Muslim background?

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