The Irish community in Merseyside, Liverpool, have complained to the police as footage of a mob torching the Irish flag outside an Orange Lodge was posted last week.
This video was posted by the blog Liverpool Irish with the blurb “Members of the Orange Order in Liverpool reached a new low when they burned the Irish Tricolour flag on the grounds of the Provincial Orange Hall on Everton Road last weekend. This was preceded by a march by the Apprentice Boys of Derry through Liverpool city centre earlier.”
The five-minute clip shows a group of men, many with younger faces, chanting sectarian songs as the flag burns. The incident took place on the grounds of the Provincial Orange Hall on Everton Road. It took place on June 8, after a march by the Apprentice Boys of Derry through the city earlier that day.
The Liverpool Irish blog which posted the video describes itself as “promoting Liverpool Irishness as a permanent and progressive aspect of Liverpool cultural life in the face of racists, fascists, orangeism and loyalism.”
The London newspaper, the Irish Post, reports that “sectarian tensions have erupted in Merseyside.”
Police and Crime Commissioner Jane Kennedy called the act “deplorable.”
Liverpool’s Cairde na hÉireann says the incident should be treated as a hate crime. Organizer 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 continued, “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.”
However the Liverpool Province Orange Order said this recorded act of burning the flag not racist nor sectarian. Their site says an “racism and bigotry would not be a Christ-like characteristic.”
The Merseyside police are investigating the footage. Police and Crime Commissioner Jane Kennedy said, “I deplore any acts that undermine community cohesion.”
Here’s the video of the mob burning the Irish flag: