The Editor of the Orange Independent

Over the pst year the Independent Loyal Orange Institution and its bands have shown restraint, discipline and selflessness in putting public safety and the National Health Service above our own traditions and culture.  We were disgusted by the  show of strength at the funeral of notorious terrorist Bobby Storey. We are mindful of the many people who have had to experience the hurt and anguish of not being able to attend funerals for their loved ones, most notably the eight other families not allowed into Roselawn Crematorium to attend cremation services for their loved ones on the same day.

This was no ordinary funeral it was a terrorist movement taking to our streets to flex its muscles. Republicanism is a ‘cult of the dead’ and it is the way they pass on their hatred and violence from one generation to the next. It should come as no surprise then that they hold the lives of their fellow citizens of Northern Ireland in such low regard given their past. However we should expect more from a movement that is in Government and we will not accept this.

The call from our Twelfth platform was “O’Neill Must Go”, the position of the Deputy First Minister and her leadership around Government restrictions was untenable – yet she remains in post! Now we see the abject failure of the Chief Constable and Assistant Chief Constable Alan Todd to police then prosecute this clear breach of the regulations yet once more they do not budge.


“Creative Commons 10th Funeral of Martin McGuinness” by Sinn Fein is licensed under CC BY 2.0

The only way to restore public confidence in Policing is for the Chief Constable to go. The PPS pointed to police engagement with the funeral planners as one reason why any prosecution was likely to fail. In short the PSNI from the highest rank to the officers on the ground that day colluded with Sinn Fein and we all know the affection republicans have for that word! Let us then look at the recent statement the Chief Constable made to the Policing Board

He stated

 “In relation to that 2015 assessment my judgement – our judgement – is that nothing has changed…as we sit here tonight we don’t see any departure from that assessment.

The 2015 ‘Assessment of Paramilitary Groups in Northern Ireland was prompted by the murder of former IRA man Kevin McGuigan in Belfast in 2015. In the wake of the murder, then Chief Constable George Hamilton said the Provisional IRA still exists and that some of its members were involved in the killing. The Report concluded that the PIRA Army Council was still overseeing both Sinn Fein and the remaining structures of the terror organisation with an “over arching strategy”. The report said: “PIRA members believe that the PAC [Provisional Army Council] oversees both PIRA and Sinn Fein with an overarching strategy”.

The government report, published in 2015 and based on PSNI and MI5 assessments, concluded that the second largest political party in both Northern Ireland and – now the Republic of Ireland also – continues to be overseen by the deadliest terror group of the Troubles, which although much reduced in scale and “committed to the peace process”, still has “specific” departments and “regional command structures”, gathers intelligence, retains weapons and has been involved in “isolated incidents of violence, including murders”.

Therefore on the basis of his own admissions the Chief Constable allowed and indeed he and senior officers such as ACC Todd encouraged the active collusion of the PSNI with members of Sinn Fein which is still controlled by a terrorist ‘army council’. Together they colluded to facilitate the funeral of an IRA man – an IRA funeral one might say.

The facts are self evident, the people of Northern Ireland were forced to watch this sickening spectacle, so we have no need for the UK policing watchdog Her Majesty’s Inspectorate of Constabulary to conduct a review of the PSNI’s handling of the policing of the funeral. The honest, honourable and practical thing to do is for the Chief Constable and ACC Todd to resign.

The following statement was issued by the Grand Master James Anderson

Grand Lodge Statement



Over the past year, all law-abiding citizens across the community have faithfully adhered to a wide range of Covid restrictions. It hasn’t always been easy. Civil and religious liberties have been radically curtailed. As an organisation, we have suspended all our parades and public demonstrations. We have done that because it was morally and legally right.

We are therefore extremely angered by the PPS decision not to prosecute leading Republicans over the Bobby Storey funeral. The rationale for this decision is so utterly pathetic that is has plunged us into another major political crisis.

The PSNI have serious questions to answer over their handling of the funeral, both prior to the event and on the day itself. We would support calls for the Chief Constable, Simon Byrne, to resign. As further evidence emerges, it is clear that his position is completely untenable.

It is palpable nonsense for the PPS to assert that the covid regulations were unclear. They have been perfectly clear to the many ordinary decent people who, when bereaved, have not been able to say farewell to their loved ones in the normal way.

Not for the first time in Ulster, it seems that there is one law for Republicans and one law for the rest of us. Levels of anger are already high over the EU Protocol and Westminster action on abortion, and this latest development has made matters a lot worse. We are in a dangerous place.

James Anderson

(Imperial Grand Master)

Protestantism Not Politics! Principles Not Party!

Measures Not Men! No Surrender!

God Save The Queen!

GL Statement on Storey Funeral PSNI-PPS March 21