Saturday, December 19, 2009
The town of Dumbarton has long been a town with a very large Irish and Irish descendent population. It has in many ways been a town where expressions of Irish identity and culture have been strong and visible and notably where sectarianism has diminished.
However this year, as in years gone by, the town has come to the attention of the Orange Order and its ilk, who are irked by the confidence of Irish identity in the town, therefore it is seen as a place that needs the sectarian and supremacist attention that they bring with their parades and hostility.
All this is guaranteed to offend not only Catholics there but a large part of the people of the town and its civic society. Knowing exactly what they are doing the OO bus in thousands of Orangemen and bandsmen in order to raise tensions and inject their bigotted poison.
The end result is often, as was recently the case,is the sectarian physical attacks on Catholics. On October 24th, Derek Cassels, 38,of Dumbarton was the victim of such a sectarian attack outside the local Masonic Hall. The assault came amidst heightened tensions in the town which are linked to the build up to the Orange Walk earlier in the day.
Opposition to the walk was strong in the local community both from Catholics and non Catholics, indeed a leading Protestant clergyman was at the forefront of the local campaign against the Orange Walk.
At first, due to great pressure, helped in no small measure by Republicans in the town, the Orange Order were not given permission to walk, but they appealed to the courts and Sheriff William Dunlop allowed them permission to march.
Following the Orange Walk, that night, Derek Cassel, a former member of the towns Jim Lynagh RFB was attacked and seriously assaulted by a large group of Orange Walk followers who had been drinking in the Masonic Hall. Four of them have been bailed and sadly Derek Cassels remains, almos two months later, in a coma in a hospital bed in a "serious condition".
Republicans in Dumbarton along with others have been active in campaigning against the Orange Orders invasion of the town and have used almost all channels to attempt to stop them. The 32CSM in Scotland are fully supportive of the efforts by Republicans, local young people and indeed those in Dumbartons civic society like the Protestant Reverend.
We will be stepping up our efforts alongside our members and supporters in Dumbarton to campaign in 2010 against sectarian marches and sectarianism in the area.
PRO: Vol Charles Carrigan Cumann 32CSM Scotland.