Daily Ireland

DUP man vows to lead Orangemen through Cork

Orangemen will take part in this year’s St Patrick’s Day parade in Cork led by DUP hardliner Nelson McCausland, Daily Ireland can reveal.
The North Belfast MLA confirmed his Orange Lodge would be taking up the Cork invitation just hours after he joined with his unionist colleagues on Belfast City Council to refuse funding for a planned St Patrick’s Day carnival in Belfast.
And, despite his opposition to funding for the Belfast carnival, Cllr McCausland admitted his Cross of St Patrick Orange Lodge would be asking Belfast City Hall to pay for its Cork visit.
According to its mission statement, the Cross of St Patrick’s Orange Lodge believes the heritage of St Patrick has been “hijacked by Roman Catholicism and republicanism”.
A former head of the Lord’s Day Observance Society and one-time advocate of an Independent Six County state, Cllr McCausland served as an independent and as a UPP councillor in Belfast before joining the DUP.
“It is true that my lodge will be going to Cork on March 17,” the DUP MLA told Daily Ireland. “I don’t know if we will be parading with a band but I do know we will not be flying any flags. The only thing the Orangemen will be carrying is a bannerette bearing the Cross of St Patrick.”
At Belfast City Council’s monthly meeting on Monday evening, unionist representatives on Belfast City Council united with the Alliance Party to block support for the annual St Patrick’s Day party in Belfast city centre. The mainly nationalist event — which has been consistently opposed by unionists — attracts over 20,000 people each year into the heart of the city.
The decision to invite the Orange Order to march through Cork City on St Patrick’s Day has split Cork City Council with one politician threatening a boycott.
Sinn Féin’s two Cork City councillors, Annette Spilllane and Jonathan O’Brien, have said they will be raising objections to the Orange Order visit at Monday night’s meeting of the local council.
Independent councillor Con O’Connell described the invite as ‘insulting’.
“This is an insult to Irish nationalism and Catholicism,” said Mr O’Connell. “The Orangemen will be marching past the national monument that commemorates hundreds of Corkmen who died fighting the British and loyalists from 1798 up until the 1920s. Having the Orange Order parade by the monument is an insult to the memory of all those patriots. I am not at all happy and will boycott the St Patrick’s Day Carnival if the Orange Order takes part.”
However, Fianna Fáil Mayor of Cork Seán Martin says the Orange Order invitation is part of his efforts to embrace all the cultures of Ireland.
“I can understand people having concerns but this is a genuine attempt to make St Patrick’s Day in Cork — the European Capital of Culture — embracing and all-inclusive. The Orange Order will probably parade alongside other minority groups such as the Chinese community.”
A spokesman for the Orange Order said it was due to make an official announcement on the invite to travel to Cork for St Patrick’s Day later today.

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