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Anti-Polish bias on display in Northern Ireland before Orange Order marches

July 19, 2012

Polish flags were burned in bonfires in Belfast on July 11, on the eve of the annual marches by members of the Orange Order.

The July 12 marches—commemorating the he victory of King William of Orange in the Battle of Boyne in 1690, extending British rule to Northern Ireland--have been historically associated with clashes between unionists and Irish nationalists. But the signs of contempt for Polish immigrants points toward a religious dimension to the conflict.

The Polish Association of Northern Ireland called for political leaders to take action against what they saw as an “appalling and offensive” display of prejudice. Immigration from Poland has become a contentious issue in Northern Ireland.


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  • Posted by: samuel.doucette1787 - Jul. 20, 2012 8:23 AM ET USA

    It's bad enough that the Orange order is anti-Irish Catholic, but now they are ecumenical in their hate. If it weren't for the Poles at the Battle of Vienna in 1683, they would be bowing to Mecca five times a day.

  • Posted by: Father Fetus - Jul. 19, 2012 11:54 PM ET USA

    If any country needs Hate Crimes legislation, it's Northern Ireland.