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12th of July

(445 Posts)
starbuckslover Fri 12-Jul-19 12:27:16

Apologies for posting this in AIBU, I was sure where to put it but..

AIBU form not understanding why people in Northern Ireland still celebrate the 12th of July (and the 11th night), in such an epic fashion? A country that voted for and signed the Good Friday Agreement, begging for peace to then light bonfires burning Irish flags, and marching gleefully in memory of a war that resulted in the death and oppression of goodness knows how many Catholics, is more than a little hypocritical?

How can this still be happening? I know people who are so anxious about brexit as it could upset the peace process who are out watching the marches!

Also, most place in NI are integrated now so Protestant and Catholic people are living as neighbours. How can these Protestant people go to parades that celebrate their neighbour's persecution...

I would fee the same if there were catholic parades for the same I am really not on one side or the other.

If anyone can help me to understand how such a huge group of (many) educated, sensible people (I know lots aren't, but many are normal everyday, semi-liberal citizens), can be so hypocritical I would be very grateful...🤷‍♀️

blubberyboo Fri 12-Jul-19 12:56:25

Many countries around the world commemorate battles and wars.

As I understand it they are commemorating the establishment of Protestantism and their religion and celebrating being British.
Before the troubles it was more a family day out and guess what! Many catholic’s joined in..for many it is just music, religious hymns, hotdogs burgers ,umbrellas and sore feet.
In many areas the day is still enjoyed by all.. my catholic father has gone off today with his Protestant neighbours to watch the parades. He doesn’t take any offence. During the troubles it became contentious due to all the fighting and there were flashpoints where opposing sides goaded each others. This led to fighting. Then they started burning Irish tricolours. And saying offensive things about the pope. There was fighting. Each side felt threatened.

In recent years there has been more work towards not burning flags having more environmentally friendly and less dangerous bonfires and being respectful when passing past nationalist areas. In many towns catholics still come out to watch. One catholic family I know used to use the day to sell burgers and refreshments from their front garden to the marchers and they all had good craic.

The media doesn’t really report the good things only the bad and with everything there is always more work to be done to make it better. But it is part of their culture.
The peace process actually protected their right to celebrate their culture. so yabu.

starbuckslover Fri 12-Jul-19 13:56:10

Thank you for your reply..

I do feel that those catholics joining in are very much anomalies as opposed to the norm.

Also, other cultures and countries definitely commentate wars. For example, we commemorate the first and second world wars on the 11th of November. But rather than this day being a celebration of the war (and winning the war), it is a solemn day of remembrance for those who lost their lives. It is respectful with a minute of silence and the laying of poppy wreathes etc. Which cultures celebrate winning a war against another religion? Especially a war that kickstarted hundreds of years of fighting?

Also, there clearly isn't peace and the 12th is not peaceful. The contractors who cleared away bonfire pallets in car parks before the 11th have had their names scrawled on walls next to death threats.

I wish that it could just be a family day of nice songs, burgers and fun...but with this undercurrent how can this be ignored?

Also, the nice songs that are sung have been inflammatory for a long long time...Why the need to be antagonistic simply because it is cultural?

bridgetreilly Fri 12-Jul-19 14:13:01

I do feel that those catholics joining in are very much anomalies as opposed to the norm.

Your feelings on that matter are, however, irrelevant.

Booboosweet Fri 12-Jul-19 14:14:40

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Crocodilesoup Fri 12-Jul-19 14:16:55

Are most places integrated? That has not been my experience at all. People are still pretty clear which areas are Catholic and which are Protestant.
Most of the people I know who are of a similar age and education to me have nothing to do with the parades. My parents and grandparents generation loved them and could go to one and then be friendly to Catholic colleagues without seeing anything incongruous about this at all. I'm guessing the same worked in reverse.

Crocodilesoup Fri 12-Jul-19 14:18:19

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ParkheadParadise Fri 12-Jul-19 14:19:01

Totally agree with you.

LaurieMarlow Fri 12-Jul-19 14:21:13

I grew up in Northern Ireland and the numbers of Catholics joining in would be vanishingly small (never came across it in my life). hmm

Most catholics I know (and clued in Protestants) try to get the hell away from NI on the 12th.

blubberyboo Fri 12-Jul-19 14:28:18

I can’t answer many of your questions simply because it is not my culture ( I am a mixed marriage child so have catholic and Protestant family and choose to follow neither culture) but I recognise it is a culture of many of my friends relatives and neighbours. I don’t think they are celebrating deaths ..more that they protected their right to Protestantism against a potential catholic king at a time when they would have had the right stamped over had he one. I believe many Presbyterians ironically fought on the side of the catholic king for their own reasons and presumably were also killed by fellow Protestants.

As far as I am concerned if they are not hurting anybody it is not my business nor yours. Yes there have been many issues over the years nobody can deny that but most parades in towns today will be peaceful and most bonfires last night were peaceful. You will only ever hear about the ones that are not. Many people have been objecting to the ones that were contentious dangerous and damaging to property and health... and we hope that by next year those ones will be better and more respectfully organised. Much of the organising of bonfires over the years has been done at street level by communities themselves but now the statutory bodies are trying to help make sure they comply with health and safety legislation etc. It is a work in progress that won’t be solved in one year. Suggesting they should be stopped altogether will only serve to inflame relations and set us back 20 years. You don’t say why you are so interested or invested in the situation?

Crocodilesoup Fri 12-Jul-19 14:29:00

Remembrance Day isn't really comparable - VE Day maybe? I've been to a (small town)Scottish celebration of beating the English which they do every year. I think marches and parades form a role in social cohesion. Perhaps it is time to leave them behind (I wish they would) but I don't think it can be forced. There are republican marches too.
I've known too many older people who I know are not "hateful assholes" but who watch the 12th to be white so dismissive. They will be sectarian in the same way that white British people are racist, they have been brought up in that culture and in a segregated school system.

Julykthat Fri 12-Jul-19 14:31:38

I live in the republic of Ireland and this time of year we always have an influx of northern Irish tourists escaping the parades. The orange order as far as I know are considered pretty low level creatures and yes, it is considered antagonistic to celebrate this occasion.

Lifepanic1234 Fri 12-Jul-19 14:32:46

I didn't know about this. Heck. Not good. YANBU.

GrapefruitIsGross Fri 12-Jul-19 14:39:50

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blubberyboo Fri 12-Jul-19 14:42:46

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blubberyboo Fri 12-Jul-19 14:45:30

And it is in a large part the fear of a united ireland and becoming second class citizens in Ireland which motivates the parades to continue for generations... so really you are part of the problem with comments like that @Julykthat

LaurieMarlow Fri 12-Jul-19 14:50:09

It would be a lot easier if they were all uneducated bigots, but the vast majority aren’t.

I broadly agree. However if a person has attended a bonfire that’s involved burning an effigy of a living person, they’d need to reflect on what that says about them.

IWentAwayIStayedAway Fri 12-Jul-19 14:50:31

Lol at 'educated, sensible people'

Sitting at home working out how to go to a catholic wake (I'm protestant if it matters)

It's hard to explain NI. I'm actually embarrassed! And I live here!

IWentAwayIStayedAway Fri 12-Jul-19 14:51:42

Certainly wasnt at a bonfire last night or out to see any bands today

thisisgettingridiculous Fri 12-Jul-19 15:05:53

I live in NI. I was brought up a catholic in a mixed marriage. I am bringing up my children here.

I respect the right of protestant people to celebrate the twelfth of july however at this time of year I feel there is so much hatred. I try to ignore it but it is hard when you see paramilitary flags flying from lamp posts, irish flags and posters of catholic politicians being burned, see banners proclaiming "kill all taigs", people shouting "taigs out" to roars of laughter, and videos of people at bonfires singing "we hate catholics, everybody hates roman catholics".

I would like nothing more than to participate in this festival, however, it is more than clear to me that I, as an Irish person, am not welcome to do so. So I stay at home and keep my kids away too.

SolsticeBabyMaybe Fri 12-Jul-19 15:19:26

I think it's a fairly uncool thing to celebrate, personally. And yes I think that about other comparable celebrations.

IDontLikeZombies Fri 12-Jul-19 15:23:59

And its not just NI, it goes on in Glasgow and the southern part of the west of Scotland, too.

On the whole green v. blue scale I'm a bit mixed - probably a greenish turquoise so I know folk on both sides. I don't really understand it at all. All year we're all neighbours and there's not a lot of sectarian bother and then you hit the first fortnight in July. It goes mental until the 12th then by Glasgow Fair everyone's pals again.

However, we all go out and celebrate on 5th November without thinking too much about what that means so I imagine (I hope) its the same idea - its just something thats done because its always been done.

Purpletigers Fri 12-Jul-19 15:34:42

The majority of them are peaceful and are about celebrating culture as opposed to hatred.
The Belfast parades have always been drink , hate fuelled gatherings and very few of the country Protestants would get involved in them .
I’d like to think we are moving beyond an “us and them “stance but you only have to read some of the comments on sm and the hatred from both sides of the community to each other to really despair for our future .
Some Protestants fear what would happen to them if there was a united Ireland so are ridiculously loyal to the union flag. As if London give a monkeys about them . The catholic’s resort to calling the Protestants planters saying they don’t belong here . It’s a complete farce.

We need our children to be educated together in schools , just schools . Not integrated schools where religion still has its place but secular ones in which your faith / religion is between you and god .
And for all the areas flying union flags etc there are similar areas flying tricolours . It’s pathetic tbh

I’m a planter, my children are Irish. I don’t have any allegiance to either flag and find the whole situation very sad .

TeenTimesTwo Fri 12-Jul-19 15:37:32

The Gunpowder plot may have been set up by catholics, but surely Nov 5th is remembered now as a saving of the king and parliament and democracy. I don't think most people think of it as anything to do with religion per se.

It seems to me that lots of people in NI have very long memories and a bit of collective amnesia wouldn't go amiss. Or some magic fairy dust or something. Brexit issues aren't helping much either.

Julykthat Fri 12-Jul-19 15:53:49

Any wonder they are fearful of a united ireland
The orange order are sectarian and won't even accept a protestant member who is married to a Catholic. I don't think they "fear" a united Ireland as are appalled by the thought of it. Wise up yourself!

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