It's hard to understand mentality on marching
The Twelfth of July celebrations commemorate the victory of the Protestant King William of Orange over Catholic King James II at the Battle of the Boyne in 1690. I wish both sides had lost.
The Catholic Irish owed King James II no allegiance and the Protestant Irish should not have been supporting treason against their king, whose daughter was married to King Billy, for goodness sake. Not only that, but the Pope of that time was supporting King Billy.
It was a squalid, terrorist affair, played out on the soil of poor Ireland, which led to centuries of brutal anti-Catholic oppression, ethnic cleansing and genocide. The British powers-that-be named this period the Glorious Revolution.
If people want to find appropriate language to say something about 1690, they should go back to when Romeo and Juliet was written and borrow the Bard's immortal words, "A plague on both your houses" - on both King James II and King Billy, scoundrels both.
Now, there's an Englishman whom both Protestants and Catholics can celebrate - Shakespeare.
Full disclosure: even though I am a native of Fermanagh and even though I know the history and culture well, I've never quite understood the mania for marching/parading in Northern Ireland.
And, above all, it is impossible to understand the Orange Order insisting on marching in poor Catholic areas, where they are not wanted. How can rational people understand that without seeing it as a desire to assert Protestant dominance and supremacy?
One thing is sure: if Catholic nationalists and republicans insisted on marching through all-Protestant areas, the Irish National Caucus would be the very first to oppose it.
FR SEAN McMANUS
Irish National Caucus
Washington DC, USA