Wednesday, 14 February 2018

Proposed Irish Language Act

Over the past number of months and weeks there has been increasing speculation as to the passing of an Irish Language Act into law in Northern Ireland. We have witnessed Arlene Foster, along with other DUP members, gradually soften their anti-Irish Language Act rhetoric over this period. Multiple media outlets are now reporting that this act is likely to be ‘fudged’ into law alongside a token Ulster-Scots bill.

We would like to make it clear that the Unionist people of this Province have no appetite for an Irish Language Act.

Neither have they any appetite for any legislation that enshrines the Irish language onto the Stormont statute book by the back door. Such a piece of legislation cannot be seen as a trade-off which furthers the Unionist cause, or indeed Northern Ireland as a whole, in any way shape or form. Concessions for Ulster-Scots do not hide the fact that an Irish Language Act will have far ranging ramifications across civil society. None of which will have a positive impact on the nation. The Unionist community must make it resoundingly clear that no amount of funding for Ulster-Scots, bands or other cultural activities can be accepted in lieu of this act. Quite simply put, there is no price at which the Irish Language Act can be allowed into law.

The promotion of cultural supremacy, under the guise of equality, will only further entrench divisions in Northern Ireland. It paves the way for public expenditure on education and civil infrastructure to appease a language spoken as a main language by only 0.2% of the population. Money that will be diverted away from our hospitals to indoctrinate generation after generation of school children. Where is the tangible benefit in that for Northern Ireland?

While we know that there are those within the DUP who do strongly oppose the Act, their silence has been deafening. While many may not wish to put their head above the parapet when it is easier to toe the party line, the rumours of this Act cannot go unchecked. It is not too late to act. We would therefore urge all DUP members from the grassroots, to Councillors, MLAs and MPs to publically express their strong opposition to such an Act.

We would further encourage you, the electorate, and the people who put the DUP’s elected representatives into power, to voice your opposition. Contact the social media outlets of the Party, visit their constituency offices and e-mail/telephone your local representative. It is imperative that you take this action now. Viewing the current situation apathetically will only further strengthen the resolve of those within the DUP who believe it acceptable to legislate for such an Act.

When the pages of history are written there are two ways in which the events of the coming days may be remembered. Either it will be remembered as the occasion Unionism stood firm and defeated an Act which paved the way for a Republican state in all but name. Or, alternatively, it will see the current crop of DUP politicians, and grassroots members, remembered as the people who failed Ulster in her hour of need; the people who chose political expediency and self-preservation over the needs of the people they were elected to represent.

If you require any further details on how to contact your local elected representative please contact our page.

Worshipful Master
LOL 1845

Originally posted on our facebook page, 12 February 2018.

Tuesday, 19 September 2017

Ulster Day Church Service and Parade 2017

Our 14th Annual Church Service and Parade commemorating Ulster Day, will take place in Ballyclare, on Sunday, 24 September 2017.

This service will form part of the inaugural Orange Heritage Week. All are welcome to see the parade and take part in our act of worship.

Friday, 18 August 2017

Going to Queens?

Congratulations to all the members of the Orange family who received their A level results yesterday, and will be starting University in September!
We would encourage all members of the Orange family to look out for the QUB Orange Society and UUJ Orange Society at their respective fresher fayres in September. Remember the societies are open to both men and women!
For those of you heading to University that do belong to the Orange Institution get in contact with us through our facebook page, or email, for details about the Lodge and funding available to Orange Students during their time at university.

Thursday, 27 April 2017

Grand Lodge calls for 'unity of purpose'

The following is a statement on behalf of the Grand Orange Lodge of Ireland ahead of the upcoming General Election:

The Grand Orange Lodge of Ireland recognises the critical importance and huge significance of the forthcoming General Election.

As the United Kingdom commences the process of exiting the European Union it is essential a purposeful and stable Government is elected to act on behalf of, and deliver the best possible deal, for its citizens.

Equally, it is of the utmost importance that Northern Ireland continues to have a strong voice at Westminster. The June 8 poll will once again provide the opportunity for the people to vote for, and underline their support, for the Union.

As an Institution with a broad range of political opinion across our membership, Grand Lodge welcomes any closer collaboration between the pro-Union political parties.

We believe it is in Northern Ireland’s vital interests for as many Unionist MPs as possible be returned to our mother Parliament.

In order to maximise the pro-Union vote in this election it is incumbent on our Unionist leaders and representatives to cooperate and coalesce, parking party interests and acting in the best interests of the Union.

Such strategic thinking and cooperation is all the more crucial at a time when republicanism is buoyant following its recent electoral success.

Republicans simply do not care if Northern Ireland succeeds as an integral part of the United Kingdom. The opportunity to answer their united Ireland agenda and insatiable demands will occur on 8 June. The onus more than ever is on Unionism to come together, selling its collective ideals to the widest possible audience.

For our part, the Orange Institution will continue to seek to be a catalyst, where possible, to bring unionists together on common causes or certain issues. As a major stakeholder in this Province we will always seek to do what is necessary and in the best interests of Unionism.

We would once again encourage all our members, family and friends to exercise their democratic franchise, fought for so valiantly on our behalf. In mobilising the pro-Union vote, we will also be appealing for those not already registered to vote to ensure they do so, and those requiring a postal or proxy vote apply at the earliest opportunity.

Show unity of purpose - vote Unionist on June 8.

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.