Order poll on Catholic 'IRA sympathy'

Published Tuesday, 22 November 2011
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Almost two-thirds of Orange Order members who took part in a landmark survey have said they believe most Catholics are IRA sympathisers.

The details were published in a book entitled Loyal to the Core, which looks into the attitude of the Protestant institution's membership.

A total of 1,500 Orangemen across Northern Ireland were interviewed for the book - which was co-authored by Professor Jonathan Tonge with Professor Jim McAuley and Dr Andrew Mycock, who are both based at the University of Huddersfield.

They found that around 60% of respondents agreed with the contention that "most Roman Catholics are IRA sympathisers".

Meanwhile only 5% would be happy for their children to marry a Catholic.

Professor Tonge described the findings as "depressing" and said some of the views expressed are "outdated".

There's also the paradox that most Orange Order members vote for the DUP, which is sharing power with Sinn Féin at the head of the Executive.

Professor John Tonge

"The Provisional IRA formally called off its campaign in 2005 and Sinn Féin has made its advances since the first ceasefire of the 1990s," he told UTV.

"So it is no longer true to say Sinn Féin and the IRA are inextricably linked."

He added: "It would be interesting to ask the question again in five years time."

The survey also revealed that 87.9% of respondents think Protestants are discriminated against.

Over half agree the Orange Order is anti the Roman Catholic Church, while two-thirds disagree that the republican armed campaign is over.

On the issue of parading, 58% said Orangemen should be allowed to march through nationalist areas with no restrictions - 20% said they should negotiate with residents first, while 86% believed the Parades Commission should be abolished.

The majority of respondents also wish to see Stormont's two largest Unionist parties - the DUP and UUP - join forces.

The book claims to be the first ever comprehensive membership survey of the Orange Order, with interviews from both leaders and grassroots members.

© UTV News
Comments Comments
Tommy Atkins in London, England wrote (1,164 days ago):
What a totally bigoted and archaic. organization. This O.O would anyone cringe. What is more disgusting is that British squaddies gave their lifes in an attempt to bring peace to a populace who will neve change Never again !!!
mr craig in england wrote (1,164 days ago):
so let me get this straight: orange orders show their loyalty to us (british) by hating catholics and marching all over northern ireland and indeed the republic somewhat... in time honoured tradition reminding everybody how much their loyalty is manifested through the hatred of catholics. eh, no thanks!
stevie in belfast wrote (1,164 days ago):
@ Rodney, I feel so so sorry for your kids. Do yourself a favour, put down the Bowler hat and get back to School. You Clown. PS, you spelt Protestant wrong lol.
Wee Grimmy in West Belfast wrote (1,165 days ago):
Poor poor Mike H. So you crossed over the peaceline and you were told by those nasty Catholics that you weren’t welcome eh? Ah well, it could have been worse, you could have been Robert Hamill, Michael, Mickey Bo, McIlveen or Kevin McDaid eh? Now THAT is discrimination but sure it’s only those bad Catholics that discriminate against those poor Protestants and that those Catholics in Belfast are always running around the Shankill, Newtonards, Shore roads and Sandy Row without having a word said to them and that Belfast isn’t a divided city don’t we?. It’s just as well that you dismissed my “old wives tales” with your devastating argument that I can “spout all the statistics I want until you are blue in the face it does not change the facts on the ground” You know the difference between a fact and a perception and that just because “the dogs in the street” say something that it doesn’t make it true right? All those professionals and academics that carry out surveys into the housing situation in north Belfast and produce all those factual stats are obviously discriminating against Protestants aren’t they, (just like the Housing Executive), thank goodness we have the dogs in the street’s opinion over those crackpots. What do you propose happen regarding the chronic housing shortage with Catholics in north Belfast Mike H? Or are you just going to bury your head in the sand, pretend it doesn’t exist and bleat and whinge about some perceived form of “ethnic cleansing”? I asked people to provide some form of tangible proof regarding discrimination against Protestants and all that you have provided to verify your claims is some rant about how you were told to leave an area in a segregated city equals discrimination. If that the best to do and you prefer to wallow in your-self imposed MOPEfest then you need to get over yourself too. I’ll debate discrimination against Protestants with you when you can PROVE that it exists.
Peter in Belfast wrote (1,165 days ago):
People like Rodney let down the human race... not just himself!
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