Ulster Unionist Party & Orange Order
I read with interest the article in today’s Newsletter (21 July 2004) which is misleading both in terms of the headline and the content.
May I respectively point out that the headline ‘Orangemen praised for breaking UUP link’ is incorrect as it is not within the competence of Bangor District Lodge, so to do.
As your informed readers ought to know, the relationship is between the Ulster Unionist Council and seven of the County Grand Lodges. It is entirely up to each County Grand Lodge whether or not they should send delegates! Bangor District did not ‘end its links with the Ulster Unionist Party’, nor did they ‘effectively end its ties with the UUP’. They merely declined to nominate a person for County Down Grand Orange Lodge, to send as a delegate to the Ulster Unionist Council. Bangor District is not the only Orange District to have made such a decision.
The media interest in this story would appear to be based on the fact that David Trimble’s Lodge is a member of Bangor District. It would be no surprise to me if David Trimble actually agreed with that decision.
It would appear from the content of the article that the two MLAs Jeffrey Donaldson and Peter Weir, also fail to understand the nature of the relationship between the UUC and the Orange Institution, unless of course they are attempting to make political capital out of it.
The real reason behind the decision of Bangor District may well be financial. The nominated delegate must be accompanied by a fee!
Rev. Brian Kennaway
Education Committee, GOLI.
Member of the Liaison Committee.