Row over planned restoration of Co Armagh birthplace of Orange Order
THE restoration of a Co Armagh cottage viewed as the birthplace of the Orange Order drew criticism from some members of the Community Relations Council, declassified cabinet papers from 1990 reveal.
The files show a suggestion to restore the 18th century Dan Winters' cottage in Loughgall was made by the Ulster Society, a group founded by David Trimble, later Ulster Unionist leader, to promote Ulster/British culture and heritage.
Tony McCusker of the Central Community Relations Unit at Stormont Castle stated in January 1990 that NIO minister Dr Brian Mawhinney was "eager to announce [government] support for the Ulster Society to balance the support given to the Ultach Trust for the promotion of the Irish language".
However, Dr Roger Blaney from the board of the Community Relations Council complained there was "an absence of 'cultural tolerance' in the submission".
In his response, Donal McFerran, a prominent solicitor, felt that the cottage had a rightful place in history but regarded plans for a £300,000 interpretive centre as "more problematical" because it "could be interpreted by sections of the nationalist community as a purely sectarian project".
Dr Mawhinney announced funding for the centre in January 1991.
- UVF 'had secret talks with IRA which discussed federal Ireland'
- John Hume concerned by release of republican prisoners from Portlaoise after IRA ceasefire
- Bill Clinton was 'more forthcoming' to nationalists than British wanted
- Gerry Adams was 'dispensable' and 'no Mandela', Ken Maginnis told Bill Clinton adviser
- Unionists 'felt nationalists had benefited from IRA violence'
- Withdrawal of funding from Irish language group 'sparked huge row'
- Orange Order berated Sir Patrick Mayhew over 'cannibals' remark
- Ian Paisley Jnr 'wanted Stormont government which could negotiate with Republic'
- Mary Robinson's 1993 meeting with Gerry Adams 'angered British government'
- British government 'repeatedly tried to block Gerry Adams's US visa in 1994'
- Records reveal British criticism of Republic's response to Gibraltar deaths
- Thatcher 'accused Irish government of doing nothing' over suspected IRA priest
- Irish government queried bulk postal discount for Sinn Féin over IRA funding fears
- MPs demanded date to withdraw from Ireland after murders of British soldiers
- Secretary of state Tom King walked out of meeting after row with SDLP over devolution
- Margaret Thatcher said Garda was 'not a highly professional police force'
- Farm security gates at Irish border sparked allegations of discrimination against Catholics