Orange Lodge leader to be invited to House
SEANAD:THE SEANAD agreed to invite the grand secretary of the Grand Orange Lodge of Ireland to address the House on July 3rd. The invitation to Drew Nelson, recommended by the Committee on Procedure and Privileges, was proposed by Seanad leader Maurice Cummins.
Martin McAleese (Ind) said that if we had the insight and sensitivity to engage confidently in this way with those who were pivotal to the success of upcoming centenaries, the House would be in a strong position to make its own important and distinct contribution to the success of these celebrations and consequently to reconciliation between the unionist and nationalist traditions.
David Norris (Ind) said he had never had a huge amount of time for the Orange Order, but he was delighted to hear of the invitation to its leader. Language was important in terms of such celebrations, he said. In that regard, an editorial in The Irish Times on Queen Elizabeth’s jubilee was an absolute disgrace to that newspaper.
“Whoever wrote it should cut it out and eat it.”
Stating that the monarchy jarred with our sense of modernity and democratic value amounted to preening ourselves in our adolescent, juvenile way on our superiority to the British. “It was disgusting in its smugness. Let’s avoid that kind of claptrap.”
On calls for the protection of cultural institutions, Minister for Arts, Heritage and the Gaeltacht Jimmy Deenihan said he was very much in favour of the arms-length approach, wherever possible. He believed in the autonomy and the curatorial independence of national cultural institutions.