Outrage as mob torch Irish Tricolour in Liverpool

By on June 24, 2013
Irish flag burning

An image taken from the video which has been posted online

SECTARIAN tensions have erupted in Merseyside as video footage showing a mob torching an Irish flag outside an Orange Lodge emerged online last week.

Complaints have been made to Merseyside Police by furious Irish community members who were shocked by the public outburst of anti-Irish racism in Liverpool.

Police have confirmed that they will investigate the footage, while Police and Crime Commissioner Jane Kennedy brandished the act ‘deplorable’.

The five minute film, posted on the liverpoolirishblog site, shows a group of men, including a number of younger faces, chanting sectarian songs while setting light to the Irish flag.

The incident takes place on the grounds of the Provincial Orange Hall on Everton Road, on June 8, and followed a march by the Apprentice Boys of Derry through the city earlier that day.

Yet the Liverpool Province Orange Order claims that it is neither racist nor sectarian, maintaining they are ‘not anti-anything’, on their website, adding “racism and bigotry would not be a Christ-like characteristic”.

Instead, they claim their ‘Orangemen’ are Protestant Christians, who are ‘good neighbours, citizens and gentlemen’, and state “we encourage tolerance and goodwill towards members of different beliefs”.

But their neighbours within Liverpool’s Irish community reacted angrily to the footage of the men burning Ireland’s national flag – a symbol synonymous with Ireland’s sectarian troubles – and have called for the Orange Order to condemn the incident.

Liverpool Irishman Mike Lloyd told The Irish Post: “As a second generation Irishman and proud of being from Liverpool, I was deeply offended at the video of a sectarian mob burning an Irish Tricolour outside the Provincial Orange Hall in Liverpool.”

He added: “The Orange Order tries to deny any sectarian agenda or that they are opposed to a large section of Liverpool’s Irish community. The truth is I don’t believe they have moved on from the sectarian conflict that plagued the city in the past.

“I think this shocking video needs to be widely condemned by our leaders and the Orange Order, if they are serious about not being sectarian in nature.”

Liverpool’s Cairde na hÉireann group believes the incident should be treated as a hate crime and has called on Merseyside Police to investigate.

Organiser Neil Doolin said: “The Orange Order really needs to get its act together as a result of this incident and see it in the context of its members continually being involved in a level of anti-Irish sentiment that has no place in a modern European city such as Liverpool.”

He added: “Acts like this as shown in the video, damage community relations and we call on the Orange Order in Liverpool to condemn this incident, which happened on their property and involved their members, and state unequivocally its opposition to any further acts directed against the Irish community in Liverpool and beyond.”

Merseyside Police will now investigate the video footage.

Last week a spokesperson confirmed: “We are aware of activities that appear to be taking place on the blog.  As a result, officers from our specialist Sigma team are examining the footage from the blog and making enquiries to establish what offences have been committed and who uploaded the images.”

Police and Crime Commissioner Jane Kennedy, whose office has also received complaints regarding the flag burning footage, said: “I deplore any acts that undermine community cohesion.”

Anyone with information about the incident is asked to call Liverpool North Sigma Team on 101 or Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.

The Liverpool Province Loyal Orange Lodge failed to respond when the Irish Post contacted them for comment on the flag burning incident.

Fiona Audley

About Fiona Audley

Fiona Audley is Regional Editor with The Irish Post. You can follow her on Twitter @fifiaudley

6 Comments

  1. Tony O'Sullivan

    June 24, 2013 at 12:18 pm

    The Orange Order needs to take a long hard look at itself and question wheather it has a place in modern society

    • sandrapayne7@aol.co.uk

      September 28, 2013 at 5:50 pm

      yes need a real hard look at each self here- call your selves Christians- I would really question this – we all have to believe in god and look in the mirror- there seems to be a hell of a lot of hidden things here- why not be open about your beliefs ?

  2. D.Murray

    June 24, 2013 at 10:51 pm

    A few neds acting the hard lad, not worth the ‘story’

    Sectarianism proper died out in Liverpool with the slum clearances post WW2, people there are still aware of being Catholic or Protestant but it doesn’t even affect people’s choices of football team. The Orange parades in Southport have survived but that’s a big boozefest and the participants wouldn’t know Shankill in Belfast from Shankill in South Co Dublin.

  3. Kilsally (@Kilsally)

    June 25, 2013 at 5:43 pm

    Well it was an Apprentice Boys parade not the Orange Order. don`t agree with burning anyone`s flag but Cairde na hÉireann Liverpool parade annually in paramilitaryesque uniforms in commemoration of the Liverpool born IRA member, flying the Tri-colour. The Orange are themselves an Irish organisation so how can they be anti-Irish? more anti-Ira

    • Al

      June 25, 2014 at 1:00 am

      Erm, who is the Liverpool IRA guy you refer to? Larkin was a trade unionist!

  4. Pingback: Flying The Irish Flag Is Not A Crime | The Celtic Footsoldiers

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