Monday, 12 January 2015

Course on the Development of Ulster Unionism

The Royal York Historical Society in conjunction with the Queens Orange Society is running a course on the Development of Ulster Unionism, starting Monday 19th January 2015. This course will run for a period of 8 weeks (ending Monday 9th March 2015) every Monday evening from 7-9pm in the Students' Union, Queen's University Belfast.

The course will be delivered by Mr Gordon Lucy, a distinguished author and historian, specialising in the history and politics of Ulster.

This course is supported * by the NI Community Relations Council (CRC). The course is FREE to attend and participate in and anyone is welcome to attend. Tea, coffee and scones will be provided for those in attendance.

The Learning Outcomes are as follows:
•             To gain an understanding in Unionist identity, history, heritage and foundation of their 'being' and existence;
•             Learn about Nationalism, their foundations, what they want/demand and the complexities of their relationship with the state of Northern Ireland; and
•             Ultimately this programme will enable participants to feel more confident in their own identity with a historical understanding, enabling them to feel more comfortable in engaging those from a Nationalist background.

If you or anyone else is interested in attending this course please e-mail Andrew Charles at in order to secure a place. Places are limited and available on a first come, first serve basis. Early registration is therefore advised.

* This project has received support from the Northern Ireland Community Relations Council which aims to promote a pluralist society characterised by equity, respect for diversity, and recognition of interdependence. The views expressed do not necessarily reflect those of the Community Relations Council.

Thursday, 14 August 2014

Pre-Registration open for New Students

On behalf of the Worshipful Master, Officers and Brethren of LOL 1845, we would like to congratulate all those students who, having received their A-Level results, are now expecting to attend The Queen's University of Belfast!

If you a member of the Loyal Orders, or have an interest in promoting their values at the University, we recommend you to consider the following:

Queens Orange Society

All future students and undergraduates of The Queen’s University of Belfast are invited to pre-register for membership of the QUB Orange Society, the official student society promoting Orangeism at Queen’s.

If you are going to Queens this coming academic year, and would be interested in joining the society, please contact us via our Facebook page, or by e-mail so we can keep you up-to-date with arrangements up to Fresher’s day where you can join officially join.

Queens University LOL 1845

Students or Graduates of the University (or her colleges) who are Members of the Orange Institution are also entitled to join the Queens University LOL 1845 a student and alumni affiliate lodge. While staying in your own lodge, you can build networks among graduates and support Orange students at the University.

New students can pre-register for information about how to apply and about imminent lodge events by e-mail or via Facebook. Application forms can be found here.

‘Croom Elbow’ Orange Student Centre

Student accommodation is also available for current students in Belfast from both universities through LOL 1845 at ‘Croom Elbow’ the Queens Orange Student Centre.

Bursary Opportunities

Bursaries are available from the Orange Institution, Royal Arch Purple Chapter, and Royal Black Institution and available to members and their relatives. Contact your private lodge/chapter/preceptory secretary/registrar for more information.

University of Ulster

For those attending studies at the University of Ulster, there is also the Ulster Orange Society and a Student and Alumni Lodge.

Saturday, 5 July 2014

Grand Master's Rossnowlagh Speech


It is always a pleasure and a privilege to return to the Atlantic Ocean coastline for undoubtedly the most serene and scenic annual Orange demonstration.

The large numbers both participating and lining the route today, many having travelled long distances, confirms the special resonance the Rossnowlagh Twelfth continues to have for the entire Orange fraternity as we celebrate our proud cultural heritage.

There is no better prelude than this wonderful occasion to our yearly Battle of the Boyne celebrations this month. I would like to pay tribute to the brethren of County Donegal Grand Lodge for their tireless efforts once again, in organising and hosting a terrific event, which culminates in our Christian fellowship here today.

As we look forward to the 17 Twelfth demonstrations across Northern Ireland next weekend, we are also mindful of recent political developments following another disastrous decision by the Parades Commission regarding our brethren in Ligoniel, Belfast.

This followed on from the shambolic and ludicrous determination preventing Orangemen from dedicating an arch in memory of an esteemed past member in Portadown.

Grand Lodge is fully supportive of the united graduated response by unionism to this latest constraint on our legitimate cultural expression and traditions.

Numerous other parades across Northern Ireland, as we know, also face continuing intransigent and deliberate opposition by republicans.

We cannot underestimate the seriousness of the situation but there is no doubt that unionism is stronger when it is united and speaking with one voice.

I have called an emergency meeting of all County Grand Masters and District Masters from all over Northern Ireland to inform them of our course of action and our engagement with the leaders of unionism. This will take place over the coming days.

I would also reiterate my appeal, and that of the Institution, for any associated protests to be both lawful and peaceful. Violence should not prevail.

The Orange Institution in the Republic continues to thrive, and earlier this year I had the honour of re-opening Ballintra Orange hall following major refurbishment. Such facilities offer a social lifeline, particularly in rural communities, in the border counties and, indeed, are used as meeting places by numerous other organisations and community groups.

Orangemen and women have consistently demonstrated they want to play a full role in the civic society of this country.

Conversely, we also want those in the corridors of power in Dublin to recognise and value the contribution of the minority Protestant community to wider society in the Republic of Ireland.

Two years ago, our Grand Secretary Drew Nelson made a landmark and historic speech in the Irish Senate in Dublin. In a thoughtful and candid address, Mr Nelson spoke of the challenges facing all of us as we move forward together, and despite the horror of the sectarian campaign carried out in the name of Irish republicanism, underlined the Orange Institution’s genuine desire to see a normalisation of relationships on these islands.

No more so was this illustrated by the momentous state visit of Her Majesty the Queen, here to the Republic in 2011. During her trip, the Queen visited sites of significance to Irish nationalism including the Garden of Remembrance and Croke Park in Dublin. Such gestures of reconciliation were hugely symbolic and carried out by Her Majesty with great decorum and respect.

It is against this backdrop, and from this platform today, that I publically invite the President of the Republic of Ireland, Michael D Higgins, to join us and witness for himself next year the colour and spectacle of the only Twelfth demonstration in this jurisdiction.

You will be made most welcome here in Rossnowlagh, President Higgins, and I trust you will accept the genuine invitation in the spirit of good will and neighbourliness in which it is intended.

In your inaugural speech, you spoke of a “common shared future built on the spirit of co-operation”, about “equality” and “respect for all”.

What better way to make such words a reality by reaching out in a hand of friendship to the minority Protestant community in the Republic; the symbolism of which would have positive ramifications beyond the boundaries of County Donegal.

In the short term, Grand Lodge continues to lobby strenuously at every opportunity regarding cuts to Protestant education in the Republic.

Indeed, I am pleased to say that the Secretary of State Theresa Villiers has raised our concerns directly with the Irish Government in correspondence with the outgoing minister for education and skills, Ruairi Quinn. This is to be welcomed.

We will continue to monitor the situation and would commend the work of SOCKS (Save Our Colleges, Keep our Schools) who have been at the forefront of this important campaign.

On this matter and others I can assure members of the Institution in the border counties and beyond you will always be guaranteed the unstinting support of your peers in Northern Ireland. You are vital and valued members of the wider Orange family and always will be.

Once again, I congratulate everyone involved behind the scenes in making this such a magnificent day when we can celebrate the traditions that are so important to us.

Friday, 4 July 2014

Orange Order meets Unionist parties

Senior members of the Grand Orange Lodge of Ireland and County Grand Orange Lodges throughout the Province met today (FRI) with representatives of the main Unionist parties.

The meeting was held at Grand Lodge headquarters in east Belfast.

Among the attendees was the Grand Master of the Grand Orange Lodge of Ireland, Edward Stevenson; Grand Master of the County Grand Orange Lodge of Belfast, George Chittick; DUP leader Peter Robinson; Ulster Unionist leader Mike Nesbitt; and representatives of the TUV, PUP and UPRG (west Belfast).

Grand Master Edward Stevenson said afterwards:

“We had a productive meeting with our Unionist political representatives, where we as an Institution offered our full support for their joint statement and unity of purpose following the Parades Commission’s nonsensical decision preventing Ligoniel Orangemen from once again completing their Twelfth parade.

“Grand Lodge is also mindful at this time of restrictions on other Orange parades throughout the Province.

“We will continue purposeful dialogue within the Orange family and wider pro-Union community over the coming days; and will outline our response in due course.

“Although there is much anger at the latest restriction on our legitimate cultural expression and traditions; I would once again reiterate the Institution’s call for any protest to be lawful and peaceful. Violence will not help our cause, and only play into the hands of our enemies.”

Friday, 6 June 2014


Northern Ireland Secretary of State, Theresa Villiers, has commended a group of Orange students for successfully completing a leadership course co-ordinated by one of the Province’s leading universities.

A total of 34 young people participated in the EU PEACE III funded STRIPE (Stepping Towards Reconciliation in Positive Engagement) Young Leaders course at Queen’s University.

Ms Villiers attended a certificate presentation ceremony at the Belfast campus on Thursday evening.
As part of the 12-month course, students were provided the opportunity to acquire a knowledge of leadership and management approaches, and the opportunity to analyse the concept of leadership and the role that leaders play in society. Participants also travelled to Italy to explore the management of competing minority cultural rights.

The leadership and management course, now in its third year, was delivered in partnership between the STRIPE Project, funded by the European Union’s PEACE III Programme, and Queen's University.
There are many examples of course graduates taking up leadership roles within their local community, whether that be within various community groups, the loyal orders, bands or politics. Indeed, two former students were elected as councillors in last month’s local government elections.

Secretary of State Villiers said:
“I am delighted to participate in the STRIPE Young Leaders certificate presentation ceremony this evening. There is no doubt that STRIPE has produced an important and exciting development opportunity for the younger members of the Orange Order, by equipping the students with the necessary skills and experience to ensure not only that they can play a positive role within the community in the years ahead, but also to enable them to actively promote mutual understanding and reconciliation between different traditions and different parts of the community.
“I offer my congratulations to all who have completed this excellent course and wish them every success in putting what they have learnt into practice in the future.”

Grand Secretary of the Grand Orange Lodge of Ireland, Drew Nelson, said:
"An exciting part of this project is identifying young leaders, building their capacity and developing their skills so that they can play a full role in shaping society.”

STRIPE leadership development officer Richard Forsythe said:
“There were a number of benefits for those who participated on the course, including a recognised qualification from Queens University, Belfast. Students were also provided the opportunity to analyse the concept of leadership and the role that leaders play in initiating and implementing change and reform.”

There are currently more than 100 participants enrolled on this year's course with two classes at Queen's and a further class being held in Eglinton Orange Hall, Co Londonderry.

Notes to Editors: 

In April 2012, the Orange Order received a grant of almost £900,000 from the European Union to help address the legacy of the Troubles in the Protestant community, particularly in interface and border areas of Northern Ireland and the border counties of the Republic of Ireland.

Seven full-time staff are working on the project which is being financed until December 2014.

The STRIPE Project received £884,022 from the Special EU Programmes Body.

The Special EU Programmes Body is a North/South Implementation Body sponsored by the Department of Finance and Personnel in Northern Ireland and the Department of Finance in Ireland. It is responsible for managing two EU structural funds Programmes PEACE III and INTERREG IVA designed to enhance cross-border co-operation, promote reconciliation and create a more peaceful and prosperous society. The programmes operate within a clearly defined area including Northern Ireland, the Border Region of Ireland and in the case of INTERREG IVA, western Scotland.

The PEACE III Programme, funded under the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF), is worth €333 million and is aimed primarily at reinforcing progress towards a peaceful and stable society and promoting reconciliation. It focuses on helping Northern Ireland and the Border Region of Ireland to reconcile communities and contribute towards a shared society.

For more information on the SEUPB please visit

Sunday, 1 June 2014


Orange Grand Master, Chief Executive, the Minister for Enterprise, Trade and Investment launch this years Flagship Twelfth demonstrations. 

Three venues will host flagship tourist Twelfth demonstrations later this year, the Orange Order has confirmed. 

The parades in Limavady, Markethill and Larne will all provide an enhanced cultural experience as part of the biggest annual festival in Northern Ireland.

All three host districts will offer a varied programme of events surrounding their respective Twelfths, as well as the colour and pageantry associated with the largest day in the Orange calendar. 

A total of 17 demonstrations are planned across the Province on July 12, all of which follow the traditional Rossnowlagh parade held in the Republic on the preceding weekend.

Orange Order Director of Services, Dr David Hume, said:
"The Tourist Twelfth Flagship programme has been developing since 2006 and we have seen excellent parades and festivals over the years. This year, we are enhancing our product through training in the World Host programmes for the Institution's flagships.

"This will include participation from a local school in one of the areas, which will enable students to gain accredited certification in the World Host programme to add to their CVs and hopefully assist them in the employment market.

"World Host is the only accredited hospitality programme in Northern Ireland and each flagship is providing a number of participants in it.

"In addition, we also want to work closely with the flagships to ensure that the best possible product is offered for visitors and tourists. The three areas selected this year reflect geographical and historical diversity and their parades will all be excellent as will other festival plans. We look forward to working with them and wish them well in all their efforts."

Enterprise Trade and Investment Minister, Arlene Foster, said:
“The Grand Orange Lodge of Ireland’s announcement today that it has chosen Limavady, Markethill and Larne to host its flagship Twelfth demonstrations is welcome news.   
“The flagship concept is aimed at those parades that want to broaden their appeal to draw a tourism audience and I am sure that those involved in the three selected demonstrations will provide a diverse and vibrant programme of events that visitors can enjoy.  
“The colour and pageantry of the Twelfth is enjoyed by tourists from far and near and I hope many of them will take the opportunity to visit Limavady, Markethill or Larne to enjoy the spectacle of these flagship events.  
“I wish the Grand Orange Lodge of Ireland every success with its preparations for the Twelfth.”


The 17 demonstrations on Saturday, July 12, will be held in:


There is one less Twelfth parade this year (usually 18) because Limavady is hosting a combined county demonstration for Londonderry (City of Londonderry and County Londonderry Grand Lodges).

A Twelfth demonstration will be held in Rossnowlagh, Co Donegal, on Saturday, July 5.

Friday, 4 October 2013


Responding to the announcement by Secretary of State, Theresa Villiers, that there will be a new Parades Commission appointment process, an Orange Order spokesman said:
“The Orange Institution, along with the other Loyal Orders and marching bands fraternity, will shed no tears at the replacement of the current Parades Commission.
Its end of term report will make for abysmal reading, validating its lamentable record of failure as an unaccountable body ill-disposed towards the traditional Protestant parading sector.
We trust this appointment process will only be memorable in that it is the last by a serving Secretary of State. 
Rather than new personnel operating the same failed system, what is urgently required is the replacement of the Public Processions (Northern Ireland) Act 1998 with a better regulatory mechanism. 
By engaging positively in the Haass talks, the Orange Institution remains committed to finding a replacement to the Parades Commission. 
Parading policy and legislation must be based on civil and religious liberties for all and special privileges for none.”