Happy St Patricks day

Happy St Patricks day!

It is usually assumed that Southern Irish Catholics were the first to bring the traditions of St. Patrick’s Day to America and were the first to hold parades on that day to celebrate “Irishness”. That assumption is wrong…

In 1737 the Charitable Irish Society was formed in Boston by Scotch-Irish Presbyterian colonists. The Society was set up with the purpose to assist newly arriving fellow immigrants from Ireland in the traumatic process of settling in a strange new country. In March 17th of that year they decided to mark St. Patrick’s day with a dinner at a local tavern followed by a modest parade through the streets. This was to be the first St. Patrick’s Day parade in America, and most likely the world (Ireland didn’t commemorate Patrick with parades until the 1930’s). The Charitable Irish Society is the oldest Irish organisation in America and it is still in existence. It was exclusively Presbyterian until 1804 when the society became non-denominational. Today, understandably, its membership is mostly made up of Roman Catholics.

It is often wrongly cited that the first St. Patrick’s Day parade was held in New York but the first records of celebrations for the Irish apostle in that city come from 1762 (25 years after the Boston event). An Irish Protestant called John Marshall invited Friends to his house at Mount Pleasant for a party to celebrate the day. His guests marched as a body to the party thus forming the first unofficial “parade”. In 1766 the New York Gazette reported on a notable March 17th celebration at the house of a gentleman by the name of Mr. Bardin. Among the toasts raised on the evening were; “the prosperity of Ireland“, “Success to the Sons Of Liberty in America” and “The glorious memory of King William of Orange“. The first proper St. Patrick’s day parade in New York was in that same year (1766) when soldiers from the British Army’s Irish regiments (Catholics were forbidden to join the army until 1778) met at the Crown & Thistle tavern in Manhattan, drank a toast to King George III and then paraded through New York with the “playing of fifes and drums, which produced a very agreeable harmony.” before heading back to the pub for more drinks. Today, Irish regiments in the British Army still mark St. Patrick’s day with a parade.

On 17th March 1780, in honour of his large contingent of Irish soldiers, General George Washington issued a General Order to give his troops the day off for St. Patrick’s Day. Over one third of the Continental Army were of Irish descent or Irish born, the vast majority of whom were Scotch-Irish Presbyterians. Soldiers from within these ranks had formed a society called The Friendly Sons of St. Patrick in 1771 of which George Washington was an honorary member. The original society was overwhelmingly Scotch-Irish Presbyterian in membership with some Episcopalians and three Catholics, one of whom they elected as their first president; General Stephen Moylan.

 

The Friendly Son’s membership was originally mostly Scotch-Irish

The Friendly Sons held the first St. Patrick’s celebrations in Philadelphia in 1771 where the organisation had been formed. They also organised the official St. Patrick’s day parades in New York city from 1784 into the 1800’s. The American War of Independence had struck a sympathetic chord in Ulster. Many thousands of Ulster people had emigrated to America and some were in the forefront of the Revolution. However when France declared its support for the Colonists, Volunteer Companies were formed to counter any possibility of a French invasion of Ireland. Ulster at that time was the cradle of progressive ideas in Ireland. “May the northern lights ever illuminate the Irish nation” became a popular toast.

Many of the volunteers were politically-conscious and democratically minded. They used the strength of the Volunteer Movement to press for radical reform, including a demand for legislative independence. Although the Volunteers were Protestants, the Belfast Companies called vociferously for Catholic emancipation and resolved that: “We invite to our ranks persons of every religious persuasion”. Indeed the Belfast Companies not only raised half the building costs of St Mary’s Chapel and St Patrick’s Catholic Church in Donegall Street but on the day of its opening in 1784 paraded in full dress and marched to attend the Mass, which according to the Belfast Newsletter, was also attended by great numbers of the other Protestant inhabitants.

Father O’Donnell published a letter of thanks from the Roman Catholics of Belfast to the Volunteers “for their generosity in enabling them to erect a handsome edifice for the celebration of divine worship. They know not in what adequate terms to express their feelings and were excited by the attendance and so respectable a protestant audience on Sunday last at the opening of the House- the impression of which mark of regard is never to be effaced”.

A few years later, in 1789, the Siege of Derry centenary commemorations showed, as A T Q Stewart pointed out, how the celebration of the historic event could not have developed in a more natural way, allowing all the townspeople to take civic pride in it. An early nineteenth Century account describes how the day’s celebrations culminated. The Derry Corporation, the Clergy, the Officers of the Navy and Army, the gentlemen from the country, Volunteers, Scholars and Apprentices sat down to a plain but plentiful dinner in the Town Hall. Religious dissentions in particular seemed to be buried in oblivion. Roman Catholics vied with Protestants in expressing their sense of the blessing secured to them by the event which they were commemorating.
On March 17, 1812, in Savannah Georgia, thirteen men founded the Hibernian Society, dedicated to aiding largely Catholic destitute Irish immigrants. A few months later, the group, now up to 44 members, adopted a constitution and the motto, “non sibi sed alis” (not for ourselves, but for others). Not one charter member was a Catholic. One year later, on March 17, 1813 the group held the city’s first St Patrick’s day parade, they marched in procession to a Presbyterian church. It’s a similar story with Canada’s oldest parade; Montreal’s St. Patrick’s Day parade was first held in 1824. Soon after, the St. Patrick’s Society was born in the city, it’s membership was overwhelmingly Protestant. In 1856, many of the members left and formed the Irish Protestant Benevolent Society.

At the beginning of the 19th century during the Napoleonic Wars, the demand for timber for sailing ships could not be met from the traditional source of the Baltic States due to a blockade by Napoleon’s navy. Emigration through the ports of Moville and Derry was to British North America, where timber was plentiful, rather than the new United States. Due to technological changes in linen production, cottage-based weavers and their impoverished families were left with no option but to migrate to the Maritime Provinces of what is now Canada.

This immigration started about 1815 following the battle of Waterloo and it is thought that 80% of passengers landed in Canada, with perhaps half of that total going on to the United States. By 1871 they made up 24.3% of Canada’s population, with 35% of the population of Ontario and New Brunswick being of Irish origin.

In this pre-famine period of genuinely mass immigration (1815-45) in both the United States(400,000) and Canada (450,000), protestant Irish migrants continued to significantly outnumber Roman catholic Irish. As a consequence in 1871 60% of the Irish in Ontario, Quebec, Nova Scotia and New Brunswick were protestant. Furthermore they were rural settlers, in contrast to the United States where the Irish immigrant’s principal role was to service the industrial revolution.
The Canadian Irish Protestant Benevolent Society
With the failure of the Potato crop in 1845 thousands upon thousands of desperate and diseased men, women and children from every corner of Ireland sought escape by boarding ships bound for America. And it is this period (1845-50) that has received the most attention. There is still a tendency to see the Great Famine as the prime cause of the Irish Diaspora, when in reality heavy emigration from Ireland began well before the Famine and continued well after it.

From the mid 1800’s, as Roman Catholic immigrants from Ireland started to outnumber their Protestant counterparts in the Northern Yankee cities, the parades started to become controlled and organised by the Roman Catholic only Ancient Order of Hibernians, which was formed in New York in 1836. The parades became less secular and took on a Catholic Nationalist political outlook. Non-denominational societies such as The Friendly Sons, The Charitable Irish & the Hibernian Society became more Roman Catholic and Gaelic, moving away from their Protestant and Cruthinic origins. Thanks though, to its Irish Protestant beginnings in America, St. Patrick’s Day celebrations remained more secularized than in Ireland, where it was considered a day of holy obligation. In fact, until the 1970s the bars in Dublin were closed on March 17.

Another common misconception today is that Irish-Americans are predominately Roman Catholic. But in fact more than half of the 40 million Americans who claim Irish heritage are Protestant in faith. One of the main factors for this is that in the colonial period 30 percent of all immigrants from Europe arriving between 1700 and 1820 came from Ireland and the great majority of them were Scotch-Irish Presbyterians from Ulster. To give a perspective on this; in 1790 when Fr. John Carroll was ordained as the first Roman Catholic bishop of the USA there were around 30,000 practising Roman Catholics (around 1% of the population) and 22 priests in the new United States. This number represents Roman Catholics of all nationalities (English, Irish, Dutch, German etc.). At the same time there were around 200 practising Presbyterian ministers from Ulster alone and an estimated 250,000 Scotch-Irish.

The descendants of these early Scotch-Irish arrivals have been multiplying ever since. A study in the 1970’s showed that 83% of Irish-American Protestants have been in America for four generations or more compared to only 41% of Irish-American Catholics. The National Opinion Resarch Centre at the University of Chicago produced statistics which demonstrated that 12% of modern adult Americans named Ireland as the country from which most of their ancestors came and 56% belonged to one of the Protestant churches. Not many are now Presbyterians for most became Methodists and Baptists according to conscience.This was due to old-time preachers whose traditions also lived on in the American Black community to be personified by Martin Luther King . There seems to be a growing trend in America for Protestant Irish to wear orange on St. Patrick’s day in recognition of their faith and heritage.

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Saint Patrick’s story is therefore essentially an Ulster story. This is where he was enslaved as a boy from Britain by the Cruthin Chieftain Milchu, this is where he returned to as a man. It is where he built his first church in a barn, , it is where he evangelized, among his first converts being the daughter of Milchu, the Cruthin princess Bronagh, it is where he lived and died. And it is where his cult became established in Connor, Dalaradia, in Antrim,before moving to Armagh. Today, St. Patrick’s so-called “grave stone” can be viewed in the grounds of Down Church of Ireland Episcopalian Cathedral in Downpatrick, Ulster… not far from where he built his first house of Christian worship in Saul, the barn, Co. Down. So his story is an Appalachian story too…And,of course, Patrick is also the Patron Saint of Nigeria and a potent symbol of Common Identity with the Black Community….

http://www.ianadamson.net/2014/03/17/st-patricks-day/

Loyalism and Art

With our recent post about a piece of Art given to us we thought we would share an old event whom our friend William “Plum” Smith introduced the launching of. Everyone must be afforded the avenue to express their feelings in a mature and constructive manner and the Arts is perfect for this. Many political prisoners took up various positive and constructive pastimes and careers while they were incarcerated including, music, writing, handicrafts, education and arts.

The Loyalist Ex-Prisoners Art Exhibition took place in Crumlin Road Gaol on 28th March 2013. William opened the occasion with the following speech.

“First of all on behalf of the Ex-Loyalist Prisoners Community I would like thank you all for coming to the initial Launch of the Ex-Loyalist Prisoner Art Exhibition.

EPIC (Ex-Prisoners Interpretative Centre) is an organisation that represents the constituency of RHC/UVF Ex-Prisoners. Over the course of the conflict more that 10,000 Loyalists ended up incarcerated in the Prisons and Prison Camps of Northern Ireland and beyond. Almost every one of them passed through the gates of this prison at some time. Each one has their own story, their own experiences and each had their own way of dealing with the sentences handed down to them from the courts. Many political prisoners took up various positive and constructive pastimes and careers while they were incarcerated including, music, arts, writing, handicrafts and education. Some, like Danny Strutt and Tommy Cull, were even more creative by designing their own early release scheme when they escaped from these walls in 1973.

Today we present a small example of the work of three ex-loyalist prisoners who took up art and honed their talents by painting and sketching their way through their years of imprisonment. Upon their release they continue to paint and sketch, some as a pastime and some as a profession.

Their art is also a record of their time in prison a pictorial history captured by vivid imagination captured by the stroke of a pencil or the swish of a brush. There is an ocean of talent and exhibits hidden within the wider ex-prisoner community and by launching this exhibition we hope to stimulate more of the ex-prisoner community to come forward and display whatever creativity or talent they developed while they were imprisoned during the conflict.

Today I can see ex- loyalist and ex-republican prisoners in the audience as well as the general public. I think both ex-prisoner communities can agree for the benefit of the general public that it certainly wasn’t like this when we were last in here. The sample’s of art you will see here covers over three decades of the conflict and a message and lesson to us all.

As we stand on the eve of the 15th Anniversary of the Good Friday Agreement the beauty of these paintings and sketches also tells the story of thousands of young men, young families and loved ones who endured the suffering and penalties of incarceration during the course of the conflict. We must all tell our stories whether it be through art, literature, poetry or whatever medium so that future generations will never have to endure the suffrage of our generation.”

The Launch was attended by over 100 people from all walks of life. The Art Exhibition was open to the public with a great response.

“Aslan of Eastside”

A big thank you to Michael Stone and his partner Karen for creating and sharing a recent piece of art embracing the REACH Projects (www.reachproject.co.uk) goal in moving forward.

‘Aslan of Eastside’

“This kaleidoscopic work embraces East Belfast’s’ REACH philosophy of moving forward from the tragic past period of political & social upheaval – A strength and unity within the working classes of all cultures & traditions – Supporting the aspirational youth of the East with creative ability to excel in their endeavors in career, arts, sport or literature.

M. Stone 18″

In the past he spent time each week teaching art to teenagers in deprived areas of East Belfast, something he got great satisfaction from. Quoted by the Guardian in 2001. “Sure, I’m like some Rambo character to them when they first meet me and they ask questions about what I did. But I just tell them it isn’t big and clever to kill people. Then we get down to work, making things and doing things.

“There aren’t a lot of jobs or facilities in their area but they’re good kids and they’ve got to be encouraged to make the most of what they have.”

Progressive Financial Solutions NI

Yesterday evening our group met with Progressive Financial Solutions NI

They are regulated Financial Planners who provide professional services to working class Loyalism. Through their time in the financial world they seen many injustices and ill advice aimed at the working class who knew no better. The working class do not have access to the same expert advice and aid as wealthy people and have often been misguided.

Many of us will face big financial decisions during our lifetime, whether it be a Mortgage, insurances, debt management or savings. We are now in a position to seek advice of a like minded, honest and trustworthy working class company.

For more information please contact:
07925252996
Info@progressivefinancial.co.uk
www.progressivefinancialni.co.uk
https://www.facebook.com/Progressive-Financial-Solutions-1…/

Joint letter: ‘It is not just nationalism that is seeking truth, rights and equality’

https://www.newsletter.co.uk/news/opinion/joint-letter-it-is-not-just-nationalism-that-is-seeking-truth-rights-and-equality-1-8394615

We the undersigned desire a transparent and inclusive debate concerning rights, truth, equality and civil liberties and in so doing challenge assumptions that such values are not embedded within civic unionism, pluralism and other identities.

We are motivated by the desire to build a society for the betterment of everyone.

Signatory Dr John Dunlop, former Presbyterian moderator

Signatory Dr John Dunlop, former Presbyterian moderator

This cannot happen when such a commitment is perceived as being vested in one community or political persuasion.

We find it frustrating and puzzling that civic unionism, pluralists and other forms of civic leadership have been rendered invisible in many debates focused on rights and responsibilities.

It has reduced our capacity to be heard and undermines the power of reconciliation to shift society away from stale and limiting notions of identity.

We have worked for peace and reconciliation and in so doing have had open and transparent engagement with civic nationalism.

Signatory Dawn Purvis

Signatory Dawn Purvis

That has included recognition of the need for equality and most importantly the urgent need for polarised communities in Northern Ireland to reconcile and deal with barriers to a better future.

To achieve this requires the recognition that withholding truth presents as such.

This is not unique to any institution or section within our society but where it is a selective process, healing a pernicious and destabilising past remains as a challenge to us all.

Civic unionism, and other identities are not resistant to claims of equality and full citizenship.

Signatory the artist Brian John Spencer

Signatory the artist Brian John Spencer

These identities are central to the development of an authentically fair and tolerant society.

We wish to unite, not divide, and in encouraging transparency we call upon civic nationalism and others to engage with us in frank and fulsome debates about the many values and beliefs that are commonly shared and are vital to transforming the issues that we face.

Signed: Brian Acheson; Ian Acheson; Irwin Armstrong; Arthur Aughey; Stuart Aveyard; John Barry; Doug Beattie; John Bew; Elizabeth Boyd; Gavin Boyd; William Boyd; Glenn Bradley; Michael Briggs; Daniel Brown; Jonathan Burgess; Paul Burgess; Jason Burke; Alison Campbell; Stevie Campbell; Lesley Carroll; Jim Crothers; Jonny Currie; Vince Curry; Glenda Davies; James Dingley; Brian Dougherty; Jeffrey Dudgeon; John Dunlop; Janice Dunwoody; Aaron Edwards; William Ennis; Brian Ervine; Linda Ervine; Isabella Evangelisti; Neil Faris; Albert Flanagan; Dean Farquhar; Stewart Finn; John W. Foster; James Gallacher; Richard Garland; Brian Garrett; James Greer; Trevor Hamilton; Barry Hazley; Helen Henderson; Maureen Hetherington; Chris Hudson; Fiona Hutchinson; Mark Irvine; Kathryn Johnston; Georgina Kee-McCarter; James Kee; Julia Kee; Lauren Kerr; John Kyle; Paul Leeman; David McAloanen; Chris McGimpsey; Shirley McMichael; Lesley Macaulay; William Matchett; Andrew Mawhinney; Lindsay Millar; Lewis Montgomery; Derek Moore; Pamela Moore; Steve Moore; Gareth Mulvenna; Mike Nesbitt; George Newell; Hannah Niblock; Russell Orr; Jenny Palmer; John Palmer; Len Peace; Claire Pierson; Andy Pollak; Catherine Pollock; Dawn Purvis; David Ramsey; Chris Reid; Stafford Reynolds; Trevor Ringland; John Shackels; David Shaw; Stephanie Shaw; Peter Shirlow; Frank Shivers; Philip Smith; David Smyth; Neil Southern; Brian Spencer; David Stewart; John Stewart; Robin Stewart; Kyle Thompson; Brian W. Walker; Garth Watson; David Whiteside; Robert Williamson; Steve Williamson; Andrew Wilson; James Wilson; Terence Wright

Think of unionist feelings on language act

https://www.independent.ie/irish-news/politics/bertie-warns-mary-lou-think-of-unionist-feelings-on-language-act-36622141.html

Former Taoiseach Bertie Ahern has poured cold water on Sinn Féin demands for a stand-alone Irish language act, warning it has to be conscious of the feelings of unionists.

“If anybody seriously believes that you’re going to convince the loyalist people in the Shankill that they should have Irish signs – they’ll be waiting,” he told RTÉ’s ‘Claire Byrne Live’ last night.

He said the act “can’t be seen as a victory and we’re going to shove it down their (unionists) throats”.

“I think that the message has been received so, in fairness to Sinn Féin, it has seemed to receive that but it has to be seen and understood, otherwise loyalists and unionists are going to get at Arlene, which makes her position untenable.”

Meanwhile, Taoiseach Leo Varadkar and Tánaiste Simon Coveney met new Sinn Féin president Mary Lou McDonald and her deputy, Michelle O’Neill, at Government Buildings last night.

They spoke for around 90 minutes and agreed on their united commitment to the Good Friday Agreement.

Bertie Ahern poured cold water on Sinn Féin demands for a stand-alone Irish language act. Photo: Steve Humphreys 2 2
Bertie Ahern poured cold water on Sinn Féin demands for a stand-alone Irish language act. Photo: Steve Humphreys

Both sides also agreed any move towards direct rule from Westminster would be highly regressive and something Dublin could not countenance.

Mr Varadkar spoke to British Prime Minister Theresa May on the phone following the meeting. He reiterated Dublin’s “firm position” that the Good Friday Agreement must be implemented in full, and that the Irish Government does not want to see the introduction of direct rule in Northern Ireland.

A Downing Street spokesperson last night said Mrs May told Mr Varadkar that she believed “there was scope for agreement” and reiterated that it was still her government’s priority to get devolution up and running again. Both leaders agreed to remain in close contact.

Earlier, Mr Coveney had warned that the re-imposition of direct rule would “rip the heart” from the Good Friday Agreement.

Mr Coveney is travelling to New York and Washington this afternoon for a series of meetings with the Trump administration. He is due to give an address at Columbia University on Brexit and give the keynote speech on the Good Friday Agreement at a special event in New York entitled Ireland’s ’20 Years of Peace’.

Mr Ahern also took a pop at Mrs May last night. He said she has been preoccupied with addressing the various battles within her own party which has distracted her from her responsibilities in Northern Ireland.

“I think Theresa May has not given enough time to Northern Ireland as she’s trying to keep about five sides of her own cabinet together.

“It’s not good enough to breeze in and meet nobody – that’s not negotiating at all.”

Irish Independent

 

Remembering Stevie McCrea

Today our group remember our friend and comrade Stevie McCrea, fondly known as “X-ray”.

29 years to the day on 16th February 1989 Stephen had just finished his last day of work at the Belfast enterprise zone on the “work out” ACE scheme.

Stevie, who was sent to Long Kesh on Halloween Night in 1972 went on to spend the next fifteen years of his young life in those bleak, soul-destroying cages and was not re-involved in any paramilitary activities upon realease. It is well known that there was a strict policy that ‘Lifers’ are not to be involved in current activities. Stevie, while in prison was involved in a marathon escape bid from Long Kesh Camp. At the time, he was being held in Loyalist Compound 19 as a Special Category prisoner. An ‘x-ray’ van was driven into the Camp for the purpose of taking chest x-rays of all prisoners. Stevie realised that the attending Prison Officers were not monitoring the van and making a spontaneous decision, seized the moment and dived underneath the van and climbed onto the axle stand. During the head count that evening one of his comrades done the ‘Colditz Shuffle’ and was counted twice covering for him. Stevie endured two long and freezing days and nights lying under the ‘x-ray’ van wearing only a thin denim jacket and jeans. On the third evening he managed to climb inside the van itself and conceal himself in a cupboard. When leaving the camp the following day it successfully got through the security checkpoint at the Prison Officer’s gate but Stevie was discovered by a young Squaddie at the main gate. He was hastily taken to the punishment cells and held for three days in solitary confinement.

Upon his release from ‘solitary’ Stevie returned to the Compound and from that day on became known as ‘x-ray’ McCrea.

Stevie, in his short period of freedom posed no threat to anyone and sought to re build his life settling down and enjoying the remainder of his life in peace.

On that day after cashing his last pay cheque, he and several of his work colleagues went for a lunch-time drink in the local Orange Cross Club. The drink, was to bid their friend farewell after working together for the past year.

At 1.15 p.m the security buzzer sounded. As the door opened, three IPLO gunmen brushed inside and ordered the men in the room to stand at the bar. In an effort to get people to let their guard down during those murderous days, they pretended it was a robbery. When everyone lined up as instructed the gunmen opened fire indiscriminately. Stevie, in this moment of chaos, thought only of his friends safety. One friend described the scene:

‘I stood in line whenever the first shot was fired and all of a sudden Stevie McCrea dived in front of me. The shots rang out and we all hit the floor. By this time the gunmen had run out of the room and we all stood up again. That is, except for two other men and Stevie McCrea. He had saved my life alright but lost his own in doing so’.

Two days later Stevie passed away at the Royal Victoria Hospital, Belfast. Upon realising they had murdered a former Loyalist prisoner the IPLO issued a gloating statement in which they claimed to have singled Stevie out for attack, a blatant lie. The truth is that Stevie had been in the wrong place at the wrong time and it was nothing but blatant sectarianism.

We are free to express ourselves.
We are free of oppression.
We are free of fear.
We all owe our freedom to them.

Honour – Service – Sacrifice

Lamh Derg Abu

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LmUfP5pzevY
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=f8x5GPk7QNc

Remembering a friend – Jim Anderson

The group would like to offer our deepest sympathy to the Anderson family on the sudden passing of our friend and comrade Jim Anderson.

We owe our freedom to those men and women who have served their country and its interests in time of need. Not for glory, nor riches, but for their people.

Lest we forget – Lamh Dearg Abu

20 Years On: A Conflict Frozen in Time

Yesterday evening the group attended the 4 Corners Festival – “20 Years On: A Conflict Frozen in Time” event at St Michaels Church, Shankill.

 

Chaired by Jackie Redpath, the panel included Martin Snoddon, a former Loyalist Prisoner who is now involved in capacity building and innovative approaches to conflict resolution. William Mc Quiston, a former Loyalist prison spokesperson who is now involved in grassroots peacebuilding. Former Chief Commissioner of the Northern Ireland Human Rights Commission; Rev Ken Newell. Monica McWilliams, a founder of the Women’s Coalition and journalist Barney Rowan.

The church was filled to capacity to hear the discussion centered around the instrumental part Loyalists played in the Peace Process and the signing of the Good Friday Agreement. Without whom, it may not have happened.

Many faceless men worked tirelessly behind the scenes across Northern Ireland along with more public figures like Winston Churchill Rea, William “Plum ” Smith, David Irvine, Augustus “Gusty” Spence and Gary McMichael.

Through the years many have purposely ignored the key part they played in securing the agreement having been at the forefront of negotiating and bringing Loyalist groups into the peace process and politicising them. Ill point you in the direction of an old article listing “Key Players in the peace process” – http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/northern_ireland/1170144.stm – Quite a few missing wouldn’t you say?

Today Loyalists face constant accusations of criminality that dominate the image of Loyalism; an image, it must be said, largely imposed by others, who prefer to insist that Loyalist communities are places where thugs and intimidation are accepted as a way of life. This is not the case. The men named above worked to guarantee peace and we, continuing their legacy, must continue their work for the future of our children and grand children.

Loyalism played a big part in this country’s past, it must play an even greater part for its future.

Burns Night – 26/1/2018

Friday the 26th January seen our group celebrating Robert Burns night with our annual Burns Supper. For more information please click the following link – http://www.dalaradia.co.uk/?page_id=912