Magazine article National Catholic Reporter

Irish Cardinal Feels Betrayed by British

Magazine article National Catholic Reporter

Irish Cardinal Feels Betrayed by British

Article excerpt

Cardinal Cahal Daly of Ireland, strongly condemning the decision to allow an Orange Order march through a Catholic neighborhood in Portadown, Northern Ireland, said he feels betrayed by the British government. The march set off a wave of riots in the province.

"Are there any members in the Orange Order who are even now asking themselves: Was it worth it to put the whole prospect of peace in our land at such risk for the sake of forcing through a march that they knew would humiliate and affront their fellow citizens in the town of Portadown?" the cardinal asked in a homily given July 14 at the Church of St. John the Baptist in Portadown. "Are there people in the British government who are prepared to say, even at this late and fateful hour, `We got it wrong and we are sorry'?"

Daly said the British government abdicated its responsibility when it left the decision to allow the march to Northern Ireland's police force, the Royal Ulster Constabulary. The police initially banned the traditional march, setting off Loyalist violence throughout the province. The police then reversed their decision, using force to clear the streets of protesting Catholics.

Daly questioned if there was a dual standard for ruling Northern Ireland. "Many nationalists are asking whether the (police) would have allowed a comparable multitude of nationalists to assemble with the clear intention of overwhelming the police by force of superior numbers," he said. …

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