Letter: Fears that haunt the Orangemen

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The Independent Online
Sir : I have had enough of the continued demonisation of the Orange Order on your letters pages. I am not a member of the Order, but understand the feelings of those who are. It is not a "symbol of Protestant domination", or the next of kin to the British Union of Fascists, with a "belief in its own superiority" (Letters, 10 July).

Perhaps those that condemn the Order should ask why people still feel they need to belong to a group established for their protection over 200 years ago.

Maybe it is because they have seen their neighbours brutally murdered and injured for over 30 years, in many cases simply for being Protestant. They have seen families in border areas intimidated from their homes.

These people then see the concerned residents of the Garvaghy Road deliberately select a convicted terrorist as their spokesman. That is not the act of a group with any real interest in settling the issue. Is it any wonder they feel themselves threatened?

The sooner people realise there are two sides to every story, the sooner the unionists of Northern Ireland can start to feel secure about their position. Then perhaps the vast majority of people in Northern Ireland who want peace will be able to get on with sorting out our own problems.

ALAN ARMSTRONG

Lisnaskea, Co Fermanagh

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