Seminar on history of Orange Order to explore culture, heritage and diaspora

A one-day seminar, billed as the Diamond Seminar of Orange history, aims to explore many aspects of the Orange Order.

In line with Orange Heritage week, on the 25th September 2021 Sloan’s House Museum of Orange Heritage Loughgall will host the first ever seminar focused solely on Orangeism.

The one-day event has been billed as the Diamond Seminar of Orange history, heritage, culture, memorabilia and diaspora.

The seminar convener, historian Quincey Dougan, explains the purpose of the proceedings as, ‘an opportunity to move beyond some of the narrower emotional interpretations of Orangeism by taking a detailed and academic look at its past.’

Quincey goes on to acknowledge the Orange history of Ireland has had many controversial episodes, but equally believes that for the most part the movement has been a relatively benign one for both its members and the vast majority of communities where it was functioning.

Mr Dougan argues that ‘to fully understand its motivations and world view, why its activities have manifested in certain ways, and indeed its place in the modern world; Orangeism has to be looked at holistically in terms of its historiography, ethos, traditions and physical arts.

“This seminar is an attempt to address the relative absence of that approach by inviting academia to contribute to the discussion in a more focused manner and setting.’

In this it’s inaugural year, four speakers will cover the topics of ‘Orangeism and the birth of Northern Ireland’ (Tandragee historian Richard Edgar), ‘The history of the Ladies Orange Benevolent Association’ (Brian McConnell, appearing live from Canada), ‘Trapped in the Free State, the Orange Order in Monaghan’ (Dr Darach MacDonald) and ‘The survival of Orangeism in Free State Donegal’ (Dr Darragh Curran).

Dr Ciarán Ó Coigligh, Gaelic scholar, theologian and poet will speak about his poetic work on murdered Orangemen and women, Atrocity Ár.

A panel discussion looking at the past, present and future of Orangeism in the Republic of Ireland and beyond will conclude the day, participants being Iain Carlisle the CEO of the Grand Orange lodge of Ireland, Stuart McClean a prominent Donegal Orangeman and community worker, Dr Darragh Curran and Dr Darach MacDonald.

A journal of the day’s presentations and discussions will be produced in the event aftermath, and as an interesting side feature of the day an Orange collectors fair will take place in the Museum forecourt (1pm – 4pm), open to anyone to drop in and have a look.

Given the limited capacity of the main conference room, it is requested that those wishing to attend signify same in advance if possible.

The event is free, and all presentation’s will be broadcast live on the Sloan’s House Facebook presence and kept for perpetuity by way of podcast.

If interested in attending or any other aspect of the day including the collectors fair, please contact Quincey Dougan on 0447835624221, email or via Facebook visit ‘The Diamond Seminar’.

It is anticipated in the years to come that this one-day conference (9.30am to 4pm) will grow into an international event across several days.

Published on the 9th of September 2021
Article taken from the Belfast News Letter

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