27 April 2006

SQUINTER: Welcome to our new traditional route, brethren


Sweet Jesus, here we go again. Squinter doesn't know about the rest of you but the advent of each new marching season disproves the old adage that people mellow with age. When Squinter heard that the Pride of the Village flute band plans to march past two new mixed housing estates in Stoneyford (right) he felt so angry and bitter that it could have been 1981 again.

So much for traditional routes. In the traditionally Protestant village the brethren walked the same path for years. But suddenly when the developers moved in and built some new houses, and when it turned out that some of the people in those new houses were - horror of horrors! - Catholics, then it was a case of out with the old and in with the new. Sod the old route, let's go and annoy the Fenians. Perhaps somebody should remember that come Drumcree weekend and the usual bleatings about “walking where we have always walked”.

Not that such a thing as the “marching season” exists, in any case. Every sport takes a break, be it for the summer or the winter; every worker takes a break, whether formal or informal; the Oireachtas takes a break; Parliament takes a break. But not the Orangies, oh no. It is now the case that the loyal brethren march somewhere in Ireland every month of the year, which means that they're annoying Catholics the whole year round, which is perhaps why they want ten fortunes in community relations money this year. And they'll get it.

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