Belfast Telegraph

Tuesday 23 September 2014

Here, just a minute, is that an Orangeman writing in Irish?

This place keeps throwing up little delights. One such delight this week was during a chat about the upcoming European Heritage Open Day – this Saturday and Sunday, lots of buildings open to the public. One building is the Orange Hall at Clifton Street in Belfast.

A while back on a tour of the building some interested people were shown a small museum on the top floor. Among the heavy oil portraits of be-sashed elders, they discovered minutes of an Orange Lodge meeting, that took place in that very building many years ago, written in Irish! In an unexpected postscript, I mentioned this to a new Irish language learner in Marks & Spencer one day (how very South Belfast – a "cupla focal" with your cappucino) and he said that the minutes had since been removed and are currently being held, locked away in a different location. Just think, years of sown division could be challenged by mere minutes.

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