Wednesday, July 12, 2006

Marching to a different drum on July 12th...

When I got up this morning I realized it was JULY THE TWELFTH. If you grow up in the Republic of Ireland, as I did, this date would bring back memories.

As a teenager I remember reading those newspaper stories about how the Orangemen, all dressed up with their gold sashes, would parade through the streets of the towns and cities of Northern Ireland. Catholics would stay out-of-sight to avoid harassment.

Now it appears that many of the middle-class Protestants stay out of sight when the Orangemen go marching. The Guardian (UK) has this story describing how many of them see "the 12th" as a good opportunity to get away for a holiday to the South of Ireland or to some place on the European continent.

They still have problems in the North of Ireland but some of the old sectarian hatred seems to fading into history.