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A Secret History of the Orange Order, 1963-2005. The Loyal Orange Institution Founded 1795, rural Armagh Officially: Religious, ethical organisation Reality.

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Presentation on theme: "A Secret History of the Orange Order, 1963-2005. The Loyal Orange Institution Founded 1795, rural Armagh Officially: Religious, ethical organisation Reality."— Presentation transcript:

1 A Secret History of the Orange Order, 1963-2005

2 The Loyal Orange Institution Founded 1795, rural Armagh Officially: Religious, ethical organisation Reality is an Ethnic association with 5 functions in order of importance: 1.Cultural 2.Convivial 3.Political 4.Religious 5.Economic/Benevolent

3 Major Theses Untheorised category of 'traditional' Unionism which best captures Orangeism Modernisation shifts Orange/Unionist outlook from traditionalism to rebellion Modernisation in NI equates to ethnonationalism not liberal-cosmopolitanism pace Fukuyama The Order and Unionism is becoming more 'paramilitary' in its attitude toward violence as: –Protestants lose attachment to Crown institutions –Young Protestants more militant, less traditional –Strategy seen to work for Nationalists


5 Table 1. Rebel and Traditionalist Modes of Ulster Unionism Rebels'Loyal' Traditionalists DenominationPresbyterian, MethodistChurch of Ireland Plantation OriginScots-IrishAnglo-Irish Mass baseIndustrial Labour, Small freeholdersRural tenants North American Exemplars‘Scotch-Irish’ Patriots in USA, c. 1776Orange Loyalists in Canada, c. 1837 Interpretation of OrangeismUphold militant ProtestantismUphold traditional British-Protestant values View of Grand Lodge and Unionist leaders SkepticalRespectful Preferred Political ExpressionDirect Public ProtestInformal elite channels Preferred Orange PrincipleUlster-Protestant ethnic interest and reformed faith - as embodied in abstract principle and the sentiments of the mass membership Orange tradition - as embodied in Orange laws, ordinances, customs and history LeadershipEvangelical clergy, petit-bourgeoisieAristocracy, Large local businessmen Political PhilosophyLockean radical change, PopulismBurkean evolution, Deference to elite consensus Attitudes to alcohol, band discipline and traditional social mores Secularists more permissive, evangelicals more conservative than even traditionalists Conservative Stance toward paramilitaries and political violence More permissive, especially secular rebelsAntagonistic Attitude toward British crownConditionalityLoyalty Interpretation of ProtestantismProtestantism as dissentProtestantism as tradition National identityUlstermenBritish Favoured N.I. partyDUPUUP Regional baseAntrim, N. Down, BelfastSouth and West



8 Sources Central Committee Minutes 1951-83, 1995-2003 Grand Lodge Correspondence, 1963-74, 1995-2004 Grand Lodge Reports of Proceedings, 1951-2005 County Grand Lodge Minutes Grand Lodge and County Membership Returns, 1951- 2005 Belfast Initiation Forms, 1961-1987 Grand Lodge Expulsion, Suspension and Resignation Records, 1966-2003 Interviews Lodge plots from county Orangemen

9 Cultural Characteristics Strength in 'Border' Unionist areas with large Catholic and Church of Ireland populations Under siege but not defeated Traditionalist rather than rebel in outlook Orangeism is communal not militant

10 Orange Lodges (1991) and County Orange Density (1971), Northern Ireland


12 Cracks in The Establishment: Orange Opposition to O'Neill, 1963-1969 Orange Establishment: Andrews, Clark Dungiven Crises British reform Orangeism resists reform logic Clark cannot hold the centre Order issues resolution of no-confidence in O'Neill, heads the anti-O'Neillite forces

13 Orangeism Under Fire: Negotiating the Troubles, 1969-72 No Fear: Constitutional Position, Not Security, the top priority Restoration of Stormont: NI Act and parity with rest of UK Call for hardline stance on security: internment, no-go areas, border. Would dissipate IRA threat like 1956-62 Firm 'no' to parade bans (1970, 1971) Numerous deputations Resistance to local government reform Engineer Chichester-Clark's fall through UUC

14 Unity in the Face of Treachery, 1972-1977 Call for Restoration of Stormont Resistance to power-sharing and N-S bodies Nucleus of anti-Faulknerite forces, support for Craig Traditionalism: Friction with Craig and Paisley over paramilitaries Strongly back LAW and UWC strike, 1974 UUUC: Orangeism the hub of 'No' Unionism Clashes with Paisley, no support for UUAC, 1976-77

15 Stable Rejectionism: The Smyth- Molyneaux Axis, 1978-95 Smyth & Molyneaux major figures in CC by late 1960s. Hardliners. Smyth elected Grand Master, 1973 Molyneaux – Westminster leader and elected UUP leader 1978 Smyth backs Molyneaux. Molyneaux and Order agree on 'no' stance toward all power-sharing and N-S bodies Uninspired, but electorally safe. Paisley kept at bay and UUP-Orange link solid Flagging anti-AIA protest movement and Framework Docs end Molyneaux's term Drumcree '95 seals Smyth's fate Social Change: flattened class hierarchies, membership decline

16 The Battle of Drumcree 1995 Rise of Residents' Groups Parades follow power Rise in loyalist parading since 1980s Portadown: politicised Orangemen, Protestant majority 1972 UDA challenge, 1985 & 87 reroutes – only one of 20 annual major 12 th parades to ever be rerouted Mass mobilisation of extra-Orange elements convinces RUC to allow token march in 1995 Violence splits Order: SOD vs Education Committee/Leadership SOD rally, November 1995

17 From Victory to Defeat: Drumcree, 1996-1998 Parades go through in 1996, 1997 due to force of extra-Orange elements: Wright, Adair. Inspires SOD militants. Bad PR SOD bully tactics – achieve some policy changes, scare leadership to the right Leadership does not go after SOD leaders, influence lingers unlike 1954 Drumcree strategy fails in 1998, leads to new focus on PR and human rights discourse

18 Breaking the Link: Orange-UUP Relations after the Good Friday Agreement Smyth and Molyneaux galvanise opposition to GFA at Grand Lodge Declining Support for GFA after 04/98 among Unionist electorate. Grand Lodge votes 76-10 against Most counties opposed, except for Tyrone, and to a lesser degree Fermanagh Smyth challenges Trimble, 2000 Orange UUC delegates 75% anti-GFA in 2003, when almost 60% of UUC is pro

19 Breaking the Link: Orange-UUP Relations after the Good Friday Agreement Orange leaders and about 60% of lodge officers back the link, but 2/3 of members opposed by 1995-7 UUP seeks to modernise under Trimble post-1995 Order uses its UUC clout to frustrate UUP modernisation Rapprochement with Free Presbyterians (1998-9), DUP (1999) and IOO (2003) Orange vote matches population with slight lean to Paisley by 2001 Orangeism advantages UUP in rural border areas, and DUP elsewhere 2004 no-confidence in Trimble, 2005 breaking of link to UUP

20 UUP Support as a Proportion of the Unionist Vote in Local Elections, 1993

21 The War Against the Parades Commission Order increasingly focused on parading since GFA is stalled Battle with Parades Commission since 1998 Human Rights Logic and Legal Case is New Split between those who wish to negotiate and those who do not. Roughly 55-30 back Grand Lodge 'No' Policy Grand Lodge openly defied Pro-Negotiation: need to negotiate to make European court case against PC; success of Apprentice Boys and Black Anti-Negotiation: PC inherently anti-loyalist 2 Portadown officers join PC, 2005

22 Pro-Negotiation Sentiment I feel that the virtual loss of the Ormeau Road due to the fact that Grand Lodge has tied the hands of my good friend the District Master Noel Liggett, as to who we talk to and who we don't has caused untold is the Order who [need to] move themselves into the here and now, not to be hindered by unworkable principles that cost us influence, friends, roads and membership, including my own

23 Segmenting the Orange: The Future of Orangeism in the Twenty-First Century Membership Decline Violence, Paramilitarism, Estrangement from Police

24 Newer Trends Orangeism used to be as strong in cities as in rural areas before 1969 Orange strength has fallen to about 1/3 of its membership in Derry and Belfast since 1969 Also declines in the major towns

25 Orange Density by District Electoral Area, Northern Ireland, 1991

26 Orange Density by Ward, Northern Ireland, 1991

27 Orangemen per Protestant Adult Male Population in District Electoral Area (DEA), 1991 (Darker areas are more Orange. Note that Orangemen can exceed DEA population if the DEA is a meeting centre for wider area) Orangemen per Protestant Adult Male Population in a Ward, 1991 (Darker areas more Orange. Note that Orangemen can exceed ward population if the ward is a meeting centre for wider area) Orange Membership Change, 1991-2001 (Darker Areas have retained membership better. Note that membership increase leads to score above 1)

28 Orange Membership Losses, 1991-2001, by District Electoral Area

29 Orange Strength Today Remains strong in rural areas, especially along the border Membership decline linked to mobility and Troubles violence Violent events do not have enough lasting effect to offset membership losses due to expanded mobility

30 Border Orangeism, c. 1991





35 Change in Urban Orangeism –Sharp Membership decline in urban areas and larger towns –Few (0-5%) young urban Protestant men are in the Order –Membership losses to alternative forms of Protestant identity (bands, paramilitaries) –Secularisation, de-traditionalisation, de- industrialisation –Belfast Order 'adapts' by relaxing moral code and line against paramilitarism in order to retain members

36 A Decline of Discipline? Ryder & Kearney (2001), as well as Drumcree and interface violence would suggest this Some suggest that there has been a change in the culture of Orangeism toward greater permissiveness Others claim that the middle class has been deserting the Order

37 Discipline Has Never Been Strong Gusty Spence and Robert Williamson, UVF men, sentenced for murder of Catholics, 1966 Mid-June 1967 debate at Grand Lodge. One lodge moves for non-expulsion, decision deferred for 6 mos. pending outcome of Shankill Rd. petition Though suspended in 1967, few similar cases What has changed is elite's willingness to suspend for challenging the leadership (ie Spirit of Drumcree vs. Orange & Protestant Committee of 1953-4)



40 Withdrawal of Middle Class? Middle-Class Orangeism never strong except Derry Already gone by now Some clerical resignations, no major middle-class exodus

41 Profile of Orange Resignations, 1998-2003 Avg 27RuralNR Bottom 7NR Top 12N Orangemen 20016.08211435.51%12.43%58.66%3368 Resignations98-03 5.85261615.78%18.27%52.94%767 Difference0.22949719.73%-5.84%5.71%

42 Postcode Profile of Suspended Orangemen, 2002 Avg 27NR Bottom 7NR Top 12N. Cases Grand Lodge3.0718%63%144 Suspended 3.0635%41%296 District Officers3.0217%61%803 Masters&Sec3.0722%58%1429

43 Violence and Paramilitarism Young loyalists increasingly favour DUP, less likely to support traditional institutions (churches, Orangeism) Change in urban, loyalist culture forces Orangeism to 'adapt' in order to stanch losses Estrangement from new police and Orange Obligation to uphold the law and be loyal to Crown forces Intimidation from paramilitaries, accusations of 'Lundy' from local communities

44 Violence and Paramilitarism Changes also affect the Order at the top Order equivocates over violence 1995-2005: Drumcree and Whiterock Though violence on the rise, discipline has never been strongly enforced in the Order However, Order did take firm stand against paramilitarism under Smyth and previous administrations. No longer willing to openly blame paramilitaries and endorse police Rifts between country-based 'traditionalists' and militants from the towns and E. Bann counties

45 Conclusion Traditional 'Loyal' Unionism has been the hallmark of Orangeism Conservative, but loyal to traditional institutions Traditionalism in decline, Rebel Unionism in the ascendant among new generations Orange Order reflects/adapts by healing rifts with rebel institutions and becoming alienated from traditional ones Unclear whether Order can withstand decline in social capital in NI, but it will remain influential

46 (link 1)

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