Leading article

A thought-provoking debate

The late Joe McWilliams was not only a gifted artist but also an individual with a mischievous sense of humour, and there can be little doubt that, looking down from above, he must be hugely enjoying the row over his last major work.

His vivid depiction of an Orange parade past St Patrick's Church in Belfast on a massive 7ft canvas included a tiny detail which might well be taken to imply that, in the opinion of Mr McWilliams, who died last month, the behaviour of some hangers-on could be compared to the Ku Klux Klan.

All those who view the painting are entitled to agree or disagree, although it is a matter of historical record that the notorious 1930s loyalist William Fullerton, leader of the sectarian gang commemorated in an Orange song as the Billy Boys, established a KKK branch in his native Glasgow.

It has been agreed following complaints by some unionists that a sign should be placed in the Ulster Museum alerting visitors to the possibility they may find exhibits by Mr McWilliams to be `thought-provoking', an epitaph which he could only take as an enormous compliment.

Leading article

Today's horoscope


See a different horoscope: