The Independent Loyal Orange Institution began 2021 with a clear message that discriminations against our members and the wider Protestant community will no longer be tolerated. A new year and a new decade demands a new start and a fair deal of the Protestant community. The Institution released their submission to the recent consultation into the recruitment practices of the PSNI. The submission was specifically related to the current review of notifiable membership within the Police Service of Northern Ireland.

The notifiable membership issue is a clear discriminatory measure which alongside the 50:50 recruitment policy came from the Patton Report. As an Institution we stood alongside the other Loyal Orders and the Unionist Political parties in opposition to these measures which sought to undermine the rights and equality for our community. They were of course supported by many who for decades had preached to the world about the iniquity of inequality. The double standards and hypocrisy of many so called human rights and equality activists exposed just how cynical their agenda was.

Notifiable membership is a requirement which forces members of the Loyal Orders to declare that membership when joining the PSNI. The fact that the ILOI is on the list of organisations which the Chief Constable has designated as being a negative effect on “an officer’s ability to discharge their duties effectively and impartially“.

The ILOI have written to the PSNI demanding more than a mere review but the removal of this list and the institutionalised discrimination against Protestants generally and the Loyal Orders specifically. In a letter accompanying the submission the ILOI said

we believe concept of a notifiable membership list is another discriminatory legacy of the Patton Reforms. It like other aspects of this legacy has a disproportionate and discriminatory impact on the Protestant Community. We further feel that the erroneous and insulting assumptions which underpin the list are an attack on our Institution and while we see the PSNI taking proactive steps to reach out to other sections of the community the opposite is the case in respect of the Loyal Orders. We feel the legal and civil rights implications of the current policy alone should dictate its demise and this should be the first step in a proactive policy by the PSNI to engage with and include the Loyal Orders in the future of policing in Northern Ireland.

The submission which has taken onboards a range of legal, political and policing opinion and advice forms the first step in the ILOI challenge to this issue. The Order will work along with other Loyal Orders to see this institutionalised discrimination axed and steps taken by the PSNI to engage with our community. The submission points to the clear breach of Human Rights and the recent cases won in the European Court of Human Rights which has seen the Government roll back these sorts of measures in other parts of the UK.

Aside from challenging our inclusion in the list of organisations which police officers must declare membership of the ILOI exposes the commission of the GAA from this list and questions whether if the same criteria were applied then other interest groups such as those from the LGBTQ should also be included. The impact of inclusion is outlined and the clear ignorance of the PSNI about the Loyal Orders is exposed with the shocking fact that the PSNU cannot even get the name of the ILOI right.

The ILOI states

The Chief Constable should never have produced such a list, and it should be abolished with immediate effect. In the interim we would call upon the Chief Constable to meet each organisation on the list and explain to them why he feels they should be included. He should address the negative impact on each organisation caused by their inclusion and the insinuation that membership of these entirely legal organisations is incompatible with a career in policing.


Human Rights and Equality

ILOI Challenge PSNI Human Rights Record

In a damning report on the institutionalised discrimination against the Protestant Community by the PSNI and the Patton Reforms which created it the ILOI challenge the legality of the process which forces police officers to declare membership of religious and community organisations

Download the Report Today