Irish School of Ecumenics students participated in a summer school on “Understanding Protestantism, Unionism and Loyalism,” 10-12 July 2014. The school featured lectures by Dr James Wilson, a freelance consultant and lecturer, on the historical development of Orangeism and PUL cultures and understandings, as well as contemporary issues like the flags protests and the controversies around the Parades Commission. It also included a film and discussion with ISE’s Dr David Tombs, field trips to a bonfire and the Belfast parade, and discussion with ISE’s Dr Gladys Ganiel on the structure, symbolism and meaning of parading.
Dr Wilson served in the security forces during the Troubles, and later in corporate counsel in London. In 1998 he facilitated the historic accommodation between the Apprentice Boys and the Bogside Residents. His doctorate was on the origins of the Orange Order, and his most recent research was a case study of the 2012/13 loyalist flags protest.
Thanks to Brian O’Neill and Benedikt Quosigk for photographs)