BY Peter Diamond | February 8 | comments icon 0 COMMENTS     print icon print

3-nl-council

North Lanarkshire Council’s £500 award to Orange Order ‘a slap in the face’ for Catholics, says councillor

NORTH Lanarkshire Council’s decision to award £500 of taxpayer’s money to the Orange Order is a ‘slap in the face’ to Catholics in the area, a councillor has said.

Members of North Lanarkshire council voted to pay £500 towards a ‘civic lunch’ for members of the Grand Orange Lodge of Scotland, who are marking their 150-year anniversary.

Jean Jones, provost of the Labour-led authority, insisted that there was a clear precedent and long-established history of the council recognising such events.

Other councillors have criticised the payment being made at a time when the authority is facing cuts of about £31 million.

SNP councillor Steven Bonnar, who attends Mass at St Columba’s Church in Viewpark, refused to support the proposal. He said: “While I will defend freedom of expression and therefore anyone’s right to march including that of the Orange Order or indeed protest against those same marches, I generally take the view the organisation is best ignored in this day and age and in a modern Scotland. However, to award council funds to the them is a slap in the face for Catholics in North Lanarkshire.

“The Provost cited precedent as a reason for giving the Orange Order funds because it happened in the past, but that needs to be challenged.

“It was once ‘precedent’ that the Catholic religion was outlawed in this country but that was challenged and changed for the better. As an elected member I believe it is my duty to speak out and say these ‘precedent’ views are outdated.

“It should not be acceptable to hand out taxpayers money to an organisation who is inherently anti-Catholic in belief.

“They also claim to have 50,000 members across Scotland so I’m baffled as to why each of them couldn’t ­contribute £1 and then have £50,000 to throw a party without touching public funds.

“My colleague Councillor Anderson made the point that the Orange Order are a political entity in Scotland for their role in campaigning during the 2014 Independence referendum. That is a fact.

“Therefore, public money shouldn’t be given to organisations that actively campaign in elections.”

Defending the decision, a North Lanarkshire council official said: “Through the year, the civic functions group receives requests from a wide range of local community organisations for support and civic recognition, and these are considered in line with criteria.

“This organisation, like many others, meets this criteria. In this case, council funds will be used only to cover the cost of the civic lunch, not donated to the applicant.”

 

Leave a Reply

latest news

Catholics must fight ‘indifference to the poor,’ retiring SSVP head says

February 15th, 2019 | comments icon 0 COMMENTS

Scotland’s Catholics must fight society’s growing ‘indifference’ to the poor,...


Scots witness to historic first for the Church in Arab Peninsula

February 15th, 2019 | comments icon 0 COMMENTS

Catholic Scots in the UAE have shared their stories of...


Church expresses concern as council considers closing Catholic schools to save money

February 15th, 2019 | comments icon 0 COMMENTS

The Church in Scotland has expressed concern at a local...


Silent protest planned as Orange walk set to pass Glasgow church of attacked priest

February 15th, 2019 | comments icon 0 COMMENTS

An orange parade will be met with a silent protest...




Social media

Latest edition

P1-FEB-15-2019

exclusively in the paper

  • Man sentenced over threatening calls to Glasgow priest
  • Priest calls on MSPs to ‘listen with open hearts’
  • Catholic school receives national award for nurture
  • Scotland celebrates feast of Our Lady of Lourdes’
  • Dr harry Schnitker explains how the Church helped resist political philosophies that increased marginalisation and poverty

Previous editions

Previous editions of the Scottish Catholic Observer newspaper are only available to subscribed Members. To download previous editions of the paper, please subscribe.

note: registered members only.

Read the SCO