The fourth “Home Rule” bill, formerly known as the “Government of Ireland Act” was passed by the 11 November, 1920, and came into effect on May 3rd, 1921, partitioning Ireland into Southern Ireland and Northern Ireland (WP). There has been little to mark the centenary, perhaps due to distraction from Brexit and the DUP leadership change. The flag shown above celebrates the creation of the North, showing, clockwise from bottom left, the Crown, the Union Flag, King William at the Boyne, and Orangemen parading.
William III, statholder of Holland, landed at Torbay, England, in November, 1688 with 250+ ships and 30,000 men in order to overthrow the Catholic convert James II who had become king in 1685. As he came ashore he proclaimed “the liberties of England and the Protestant religion I will maintain.” As king of England, William was automatically made king of Ireland, but he and his forces had to go to Ireland to win the island from James and the forces loyal to him. Schomberg had already successfully besieged Carrickfergus in 1689 when William landed in June 1690 and moved south to join Schomberg at Dundalk.
“The Glorious Revolution for civil and religious liberty.” King James II of England – a Catholic convert – had a son in 1688 that replaced his (Protestant) daughter Mary as first in line for the English throne. In order to prevent a Catholic succession, William of Orange, Protestant ruler of Holland and Mary’s cousin and husband set sail in October with 40,000 men in 463 ships (WP). He is shown in this new board in Main Street, Markethill leading his troops across the Boyne in Ireland. His success in deposing James would become known as the “Glorious Revolution.”
There are three Biblical references inside the band: Psalm 60 v.4 “Thou hast given a banner to them that fear thee, that it may be displayed because of the truth”; Isaiah 13 v.2 “Lift ye up a banner upon the high mountain, exalt the voice unto them, shake the hand, that they may go into the gates of the nobles”; Psalm 95 v.7 “For he is our God; and we are the people of his pasture, and the sheep of his hand.” and a possible signature “RGm”
This is the second half of the Carrickfergus Timeline in Market Place, covering the history of the town from arrival of King William and General Schomberg to the modern day, including the last witch trial in Ireland and the construction of a railway allowing tourists sailing into Larne to reach the town easily: “Don’t let anything stop you from coming to Carrickfergus – if you cannot get on a train, hire a donkey cart”. The panels were written by Seth Linder.
The Red Hand Defenders flute band will commence its march from the Clough (Co. Down) Orange hall at 12:30 and its route will take it under the Orange arch in Main Street, shown here, with King Billy flanked by portraits of Queen Elizabeth and Prince Philip (on the left) and soldiers from the 36th (Ulster) Division (on the right). It will visit the houses in Jordanstown, Church Grove, Church Court, and Claragh Court (PC).
The foundation stone for North Belfast Memorial Hall (Fb) was laid by Edward Carson in 1923 (Fb) to a plan by Gabriel Porte. Here is the facade in brilliant sunshine, with a banner in support of NHS staff during the coronavirus pandemic. “Thank you to all our NHS staff and essential workers from the local Orange family together fighting Covid-19.”
There’s one month to go before 11th night bonfires (and parades on the 12th) and collection of pallets is well under way in loyalist areas. TLO (web) is back this year protesting the use of tyres on bonfires, with King Billy and horse crushed beneath a pile tyres. Under the ‘bonfire management programme’ communities receive funds only if their pyres do not contain tyres. The Irish News reports that 72 groups have signed up this year, down from 95 in 2015. 40% of Belfast fires are in the scheme (BelTel).
King Billy’s sword is tipped in blood, and he rides below a shamrock, rose, and thistle, uniting the kingdoms. Ballyclare Orange Hall is named after Hugh McCalmont, a major-general in the British Army Ulster Unionist MP for North Antrim in 1895. His Whiteabbey house was burned down by suffragettes in 1914 because it was used as a training ground by the UVF of the anti-franchise Carson.
William III of England, commonly known as William of Orange, led his troops to victory on July 1st, 1690 at the Battle of the Boyne against the forces of James II, the deposed English monarch and the father of his wife. The Williamite campaign began with successful resistance against the Siege of Derry in 1689 and James’s final defeat came a year later on July 12th, at Aughrim.