Cherishing ALL the children of the Nation EQUALLY ??

Thursday April 9, 2020 [ which this year also happens to be Holy Thursday ] will be the 222nd anniversary  of a historic day in the history of our island.

But so will be Thursday, May 28, 2020, the 20th anniversary  of a shameful defeat  for genuine Pluralism and Tolerance and MultiCulturalism and Inclusiveness and Diversity.

The bitter  agitation [  led by Marylou  ] against a planned peaceful short Orange Walk in Dublin  on Sunday May 28, 2000 [ the first since 1937 –  63 years before  ]  when a small plaque was to  be unveiled to commemorate the April 9, 1798 first meeting of the Grand Orange Lodge of IRELAND [ held in Dublin at 59 Dawson St, Dublin  2 ] did expose the 2-faced official and political *Inclusiveness* and *Pluralism*  and *Multi-Culturalism* and *Tolerance* and *Diversity* which adores every possible shade under the sun, including  Islamic Green,  but never any shade of Orange.

The walk had to be indefinitely postponed  after massive intimidation directed at the Lodge 1313,  and Labour Party Cllr Mary Freehill  as Lord Mayor was left very alone on that Sunday morning – I can only recall seeing Dublin MEP  Proinsias de Rossa [ also active in the Peace Train Organisation ]   and the then  Irish Labour Party Gen-Sec  Ray Kavanagh [ like Mary Freehill active in the  Dub SE Lab Party – a Primary Teacher who  later wrote the only Biography of Nurse Cadden 1891-1959, an illegal abortionist   – also very active at the time in the Anti-8th Amendment Campaign  and himself also a gay man –   ] turning up that Sunday morning to unveil that tiny brass plaque  [ almost  invisible as it was inlaid on the footpath outside 59 Dawson Street, and  not even on the wall ]

It also  exposed Marlou for what she really was –   and remains.

A bitter sectarian bigot and bully.

That site, on the North-West side of Dawson Street,  beside Hodges Figgis Bookshop, is also very close to Trinity College, and also on the route that  – 74 years later  – the young Edward Carson would have taken on the first day he went to Trinity College from his home in 2, Harcourt Street.   A route of 0.5 Miles = 800 m  NE from his home

It is also  only 0.2 Miles = 400 m  NW   from Leinster House,   but not even 1 of the then 166  TDs,  or even 1 of the 60 Senators,  was visible that quiet Sunday morning.

They endlessly  *talked the talk*,  but would never dare to walk that [ peaceful and very  short ] walk with  their fellow Irishmen in the Dublin & Wicklow Lodge.

Marylou and her fellow  Tribal Bigots & Bullies said *NO*,  and at once all but Labour Cllr & Lord Mayor Mary Freehill and Dublin MEP Prionsias de Rossa, along with  Lab Party Gen-Sec  Ray Kavanagh,  ran for cover.

How much has really changed ?  Ask Charlie Flanagan what happened to his planned Dublin  Castle event at Noon on Friday, Jan 17, 2020 to remember the nearly 90,000 decent and honourable Irishmen who served   in the DMP or RIC from 1836.

What the Co Galway Poet Richard Murphy [ also a Protestant ],  memorably called *the taste of vintage terror* still reigns supreme and virtually unchallenged.

And the actual historical record is ignored when not grossly slanted or  even distorted –    such as that the Belfast County Grand Master, and Sandy Row COI Rector, Rev Dr Richard R Kane [ = Dr Risteard O’Cathain ],  and  a True-Blue loyalist  also very active in the Ulster Clubs,  was also the first Belfast Patron of the Gaelic League,  while the Wexfordman George Ogle, 1801 Grand Master of the Grand Orange Lodge of IRELAND,  had opposed the 1800 Act of Union.

Or that the Dubliner Edward Carson had played HURLING both  in TCD and during holidays in his mother’s place in East Co Galway, and [  before he was first elected –   as [ like the first Irish Unionist Leader,  the Cavanman Col Edward Saunderson ]  a LIBERAL Unionist MP for TCD in 1892 –  and Carson  replaced a TORY Unionist ]  had also been invited to stand for Waterford backed by the Land League.

Or that the all-island HQ of the Grand Orange Lodge of Ireland was for 124 years –  from 1798 until 1922 –  in Dublin, finally in  Fowler Hall,  10 Parnell [ formerly Rutland ] Square East, but when  it was invaded and occupied by Anti-Treaty IRA gangs in 1922 before their vicious Civil War waged against their fellow Irishmen, its lawful occupants had to flee, and so Belfast became, and has remained,  the site of the all-island Orange HQ.

Or that on Monday April 24, 1916, the 1,080 Rebels who seized the GPO and other sites were greatly outnumbered by the 1,400 men of the LDV [  = Loyal Dublin Vols ]  who were still at home  – 600 more  were serving in  UK Forces.

And those  2,000 Dubliners  in LDV  [ very much encouraged to enlist in both LDV & UK Forces by the Orange Lodges and their leaders  in the City  ] came from a Protestant Dublin which in 1911 still formed  about 14 % of the city population [ mostly COI –  around 12 % ],  with another 1 % in the city being Jewish  –   indeed the 26 Counties were 10 % Protestant in 1911.

And over half [ maybe 57 % ] of the 210,000 Irishmen who served in UK Forces  in WW 1 were RCs.

Not just *complexity*,  but dangerously inconvenient truths.

Tom Carew


[Photo: Reform Group]

2 thoughts on “Cherishing ALL the children of the Nation EQUALLY ??”

  1. Very good article Tom. I was in Dawson street on that day with some Reform Group people. Marylou unfurled a huge, expensive banner calling the Orange Order the ‘Klu Klux Klan’. Tomas Mac Giolla was there and went up to her and berated her. She showed extreme sectarian bigotry. She has of course never apologised. In contrast, Mary Freehill, the Lord Mayor, was very supportive of the wish of the local Orange Order to mark the foundation of the order, as was Mary McAleese, but she failed to turn up. All Irish politicians showed they do not ‘cherish ALL of the children of the Nation equally’ and disgraced themselves by staying away. I devote a chapter on this incident in my book Buried Lives. The Protestants of Southern Ireland.
    Just as a footnote: has a lot changed? The few Protestants left in the Nation, are quiet. And RTE twice daily relays the Angelus prayer, exclusive to the Roman Catholic church. RTE is the only public service broadcaster in the world to do this. No one complains. It should be stopped without any apology to show the Nation is pluralist, inclusive and multicultural.


  2. Very bad article Tom – as much for the poor orthography and syntax, as for the content. Rejection of the sectarian organisation that is the Orange Order is in no way a targeting of Irish Protestants or related people. The distinction is something both of you seem unable, or unwilling, to recognise.
    The Orange Order is not welcome in this part of Ireland. This was made decidedly clear in 2000, 2006, and on every occasion has attempted to encroach on long-sovereign Irish territory. Sometime in the future, it will not be welcome anywhere on this island or any other.
    Irish Protestantism has inhabited an unfortunate position in modern Irish history due to its perceived links to the old British order. While this is (logically) fading away with time, any links with organisations like the Orange Order do nothing for the Irish Protestants who, mostly, want little to do with this faltering institution. The legacy of the British establishment in Ireland is now all but diminished.
    It seems to me an extraordinary feat of nit-picking to point out the case of the Angelus, on Irish television. Perhaps, Phineas, I could point you to your Dublin alma mater (and my own), which has continuously failed to fly the Irish flag except on 10 designated days per year, in a rather bizarre case of fealty to a time long-gone by. No one complains. You see? We can find items to suit our sense of injustice, no matter what position we occupy.
    In short, and in summary – really poor article. Penmanship of this calibre, and the ideas espoused, are what have (no doubt) contributed to the near-total absence of any detectable support for the Reform group, and for this website in general.


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