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Orangeism is not a blanket term for Protestants

Mark McCracken accuses Kevin Myers of insulting 'the Protestant community' and goes on to talk about this as a time when 'Irish Protestants wish to display their culture and heritage' (Write Back, July 5).

This comment appears to take it as fact that there is a monolithic 'Protestant community' which is totally united behind Orangeism.

The truth of the matter is that only a minority of Protestants belong to the Orange Order. Protestantism in Ulster and across Ireland is not a monolith - there are many different expressions of Protestantism.

Orangeism has hijacked the word 'Protestant' and tried to restrict its meaning. Protestantism is not synonymous with Orangeism. A person can be a convinced Protestant without being an Orangeman, a unionist or an anti-Roman Catholic bigot.

Regarding the rioting in east Belfast, Kevin Myers is spot on. Recent events stand in a long tradition of Orange and unionist rioting in Ballymacarrett.

The answer does not lie in violence, but in dialogue and constructive activity. It would appear that the residents of Cluan Place need to be rehoused and that a 'peace zone' needs to be created to keep the thugs away from one another.

Those of us who are Protestants and who have no time for Orangeism and anti-Roman Catholic bigotry need to make our voices heard.


Laytown, Co Meath

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