Norris says loyalist behaviour ‘stupid’ and ‘Neanderthal’
Senator calls on Church of Ireland to disassociate itself from Orange Order
A call has been made for the Church of Ireland to disassociate itself from the Orange Order in the wake of loyalist rioting in North Belfast.
Independent David Norris expressed his disgust at the rioting after Orange Order marchers were refused permission to return on their July 12th parade via a 300 metres section of the route that passed by a Nationalist area.
Mr Norris described the behaviour of loyalist rioters as “stupid”.
He added: “When they were prisoners they were like Neanderthals. They were reading comics and doing press-ups whereas the ‘Shinners’ for whom I wouldn’t give a toss, at least had the intelligence to do university degrees.”
He told the Seanad that as a southern unionist “I am bitterly ashamed of the behaviour of people who call themselves Unionists and Protestants. They are a disgrace to any decent representation of those values.
“I would like to call on the Church of Ireland to which I belong to disassociate themselves completely from the Orange Order. It has shrivelled down to a third of its original support.”
He also said: “I would like to suggest that no decent Christian minister, pastor or parishioner should be associated with the Orange Order.”
And he called on the Rev Ian Paisley “who did his best to stir up hatred that led to all the violence. . . let him come out now and undo some of the harm he did by denouncing the violence.”
Feargal Quinn (Ind) urged people to visit Northern Ireland this summer. Mr Quinn said “the 12th July weekend didn’t sound very good and didn’t look very good,but compared to what happened in the past it is completely different”.
He said it was nothing like what happened in the 1960, 70s, 80s and 90s. He said “when we see the constraints the nationalist people have put on the themselves…. The violence is all one-sided.
He added that those who had the experience of losing loved ones in the violence of the past, saw what a changed experience it was to be in the North.
He said: “We make sure we use the holidays to go and experience the North” and meet the people of the North.
“Those furthest from the border seem to become more partitionist,” he added.
Michael Mullins (FG) said it was “particularly worrying that our very fragile peace process” was under such pressure.
He called for Northern Ireland’s First Minister and Deputy First Minister to be invited to speak in the Seanad. He said the “Orange Order certainly have not covered themselves in glory” and all right minded people would disassociate themselves from their behaviour.