We use cookies to provide some features and experiences in QOSHE

More information  .  Close
Aa Aa Aa
- A +

Why are Northern Ireland’s reckless Orange Walks endangering the lives of thousands of people in a pandemic?

16 31 178

Sane people are gently easing their way out of lockdown.

They’re wondering in what scenarios it’s ok to remove masks in public, and pondering if grandparents can travel in a car with their grandkids. Is it safe to return to the office? Do we need to set aside any parcels that are delivered for 72 hours?

Understandably, no one with any sense of responsibility wants to help Covid-19 linger any longer than need be. But not in Northern Ireland, as ‘marching season’ officially kicks off on Saturday.

First up is the Grove Pipe Band, who’ll set off at 2pm from Kurin Road in Garvagh for a two-hour procession. The marches (known as Orange Walks) are a significant part of the culture in the country, and also parts of Scotland. Some of the participants, known as Orangemen, wear white gloves and black bowler hats.

They are commemorating the victory of Protestant King William of Orange over Catholic King James II at the Battle of the Boyne, back in 1690. Without trawling through centuries of history, the marches are notorious for flashpoints. Religious divide was the major cause of the Northern Irish Troubles, which only ended after Tony Blair and Bill Clinton brokered the 1998 peace deal.

Despite that, there is still division between the protestant and catholic communities of Northern Ireland. For example the vast majority of children attend a........

© RT.com