Drumcree: A Struggle for Reconition

This paper attempts to explain what it is that motivates the Catholic community in Portadown in their opposition to the routing of Orange parades through their neighborhoods. My findings suggest that the parades issue cannot be fully explained in terms of a conflict over two equal but opposing sets of rights. Nor can it be comprehensively explained in terms of a localized manifestation of a power struggle between the two ethno-national communities in Northern Ireland, as some commentators have suggested. In order to fully understand the complexity and depth of the Catholic community’s opposition to the Drumcree parade it is necessary to see their protest as a struggle against the sectarianism that governs relations between the two communities – and which Catholics experience as a violation of their dignity and rights. A violation that effectively maintains their subordinate status through undermining their self-confidence, self-esteem, and self-respect; diminishing their ability, and their willingness, to participate in and benefit from the socioeconomic and cultural life of one of the most prosperous provincial towns in Northern Ireland. Read more here