Rúnaí ginearálta éirígí Breandán Mac Cionnaith has said the comments of Orange Order grand master Robert Saulters are indicative of the sectarian malice at the heart of that organisation.
Breandán Mac Cionnaith
Mac Cionnaith was responding to an article Saulters wrote in the current edition of Orange Standard publication, where he claimed: “Surely we have learned something from the Claudy bombing, the Omagh bombing and all the other atrocities, these fancy names of dissident, real, eirigi [sic], they are all the Roman Catholic IRA and let us not forget that.”
Mac Cionnaith said: “Yet again, Robert Saulters has exposed himself as a fundamentalist bigot of the worst variety. Throughout its history, the Orange Order has been shown to have a clear and proven record of fomenting sectarian division and religious hatred; Saulters’ comments should be seen in this context.
“The Orange Order is an organisation that carries the images of deceased sectarian killers in its processions, has refused to expel living sectarian killers from its ranks, has actively allied itself to unionist murder gangs and continues to attempt to impose sectarian marches upon nationalist areas. It is an organisation with no credibility – in fact, in recent years its membership has dropped drastically from more than 100,000 to just 39,000.”
Mac Cionnaith continued: “For the record, éirígí is a secular, socialist republican political party that seeks to unite working class people of all creeds and none in a struggle against occupation and exploitation. This is the real reason for the Orange Order’s antipathy towards republicanism – an antipathy which has existed ever since the Order was first used as an armed militia to suppress those catholics, protestants and dissenters who had joined together within the United Irishmen to embrace a republican vision of society based upon liberty, fraternity and equality as opposed to the one based on exploitation, sectarian division and discrimination as favoured by the Order.
“It is to be hoped that those who have attempted to rehabilitate the Orange Order through such shams as Orange Fest will take the continued sectarian comments of its leadership into account when they are considering what to do with their next tranche of funding.”