Time we called a halt to these poisonous sectarian parades
An Orange Walk parades down Church Street in Dumbarton. Picture by Bill Heaney
By Bill Heaney
The Orange marching season is upon us, God help us. What a stupid little country this is to allow these parades.
Lily-livered politicians would run a mile before being seen to be in favour of banning them.
They fear they might lose votes as a consequence of taking sides in the great sectarian debate.
These are votes which none of us with an ounce of decency in our bones would ever care to have.
Police Scotland never gets right the supervision and control aspects of these poisonous parades and, by trying to please everyone, they end up pleasing no one.
It’s been going on for years.
Indignant about it (again), the Archdiocese of Glasgow, wondered very publicly on-line if Orange marches were good for Scotland.
They turned to the internet after Canon Tom White was attacked while meeting and greeting parishioners at the door of St Alphonsus Church at the East End Barras market.
According to a Church spokesperson, an Orange march was parading along the street at the time.
And the police, who had been guarding the church to prevent anticipated trouble, were called away to deal with another nearby incident “leaving the priest and parishioners defenceless”.
Canon White and parishioners were said to have been subjected to vile abuse and sworn at – “Fenian bastard being the most typical”.
Canon Tom White accompanying Archbishop Philip Tartaglia to the Cathedral on the occasion of his installation. Picture by Bill Heaney
The Church spokesperson said the priest was spat upon – “Spittle landed on the back of his head. He wiped it away. Another mouthful of thick spittle was spat into his eye socket. Again he wiped it away leaving his hand full of the vile liquid. He was then further insulted and lunged at by a man carrying a pole before police arrived to restore some kind of order.”
The Church has questions it wants answered by Police Scotland and Glasgow City Council:
- What kind of society is it that allows ministers of religion and church goers to be intimidated and attacked by a group which has a long history of fomenting fear and anxiety on city streets?
- Why is the Orange Order still allowed to schedule its intimidating parades on streets containing Catholic Churches at times when people are trying to get in and out for Mass? Answers please from Police Scotland and Glasgow City Council.
And it has urged people to “feel free to express solidarity with Canon Tom and the other parishioners who were abused”.
The Orange Order march got under way on Saturday morning, with an estimated 4500 people marching through the streets of the city joined by 4000 spectators, hangers on, camp followers, call them what you will, many of them drunk.
In total, four arrests were made over the course of the day unrelated to the alleged incident in the Barras.
Police, however, said the priest was not injured and stressed they have not yet established a link between the incident and the march.
Clare Francis’s response was one of many that came in thick and fast on social media – “Very sad in 2018. My aunt had been at chapel and was left shaken by the whole ordeal, as I’m sure Fr White and all the parishioners were.”
James Murray said: “As a Rangers supporting Protestant, I have nothing but disgust for these knuckle dragging scumbags, they are pond life who will be very happy with themselves. They don’t realise they are just putting Scotland down, it’s time we threw all this sectarian rubbish in the bin where it belongs.”