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Poll: Does St Patrick's Church loyalist band painting depict Orangemen as KKK?

Published 05/11/2015

A close-up of 'Christian Flautists Outside St Patrick’s' by Joe McWilliams from the RUA.
A close-up of 'Christian Flautists Outside St Patrick’s' by Joe McWilliams from the RUA.
Joe McWilliams at work in his north Belfast studio
'Christian Flautists Outside St Patrick’s' by Joe McWilliams from the RUA.

The Joe McWilliams painting of the loyalist band playing the Famine song outside Belfast's St Patrick's Church has sharply divided opinion.

The work, Christian Flautists Outside St Patrick's, shows loyalists marching outside the city centre church.

Poll: Does St Patrick's Church loyalist band painting depict Orangemen as KKK?  

It is part of an Ulster Museum display organised by the Royal Ulster Academy of Arts (RUA) for its annual exhibition.

It is an interpretation of a Twelfth parade in 2012 when 13 bandsmen from the Young Conway Volunteers played the Famine Song outside St Patrick's Church on Belfast's Donegall Street as they marched in a circle.

They were later convicted of provocatively playing a sectarian tune outside the Catholic church.

Many have said it is totally wrong to start censoring the arts, while others argue the piece is a "deliberate demonisation" and should be removed.

However, some have questioned the interpretation of the work.

In the left hand corner of the oil painting there appears to be Orangemen wearing the sinister white hoods of the racist Ku Klux Klan.

This was highlighted yesterday by the TUV.

However, some have questioned that interpretation.

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