The Orange Order in Cork. Lecture shines a light on the county's Orange past 

The Orange Order in Cork. Lecture shines a light on the county's Orange past 

There was a capacity crowd in the lecture theatre of the Crawford Art Gallery for a talk on the history of the Orange Order in Cork.

Presented by Armagh-based historian Quincey Dougan, the talk was entitled ‘Southern Derry- notes on the evolution, structure and personalities of Orangeism in County Cork’, and was arranged by the Cork Historical and Archaeological Society.

Mr Dougan guided the audience through an account of the Orange heritage of Cork from its 17th century origins through to its demise in the early 20th century.

At one point the Orange Order had 44 lodges in Cork, involving thousands of men and reaching every corner of the county.

Mr Dougan traced the origins of why rebel county Orangemen proudly referred to it as ‘Southern Derry’, due to its links with the order in the North.

He detailed the history of Cork’s two dedicated Orange Halls and took a look at some of the Provincial lodges - including those in Bantry, Fermoy and Dunmanway.

Mr Dougan also touched on the stories of some of Cork’s Orange Grand Masters, including Dominick Ronayne Patrick Sarsfield of Doughcloyne. 

Serving as Grand Master from 1881 to 1892, Mr Sarsfield was direct descendant of Patrick Sarsfield, the 1st Earl of Lucan. Educated at Trinity College before receiving a commission as Captain in the North Cork Militia, Captain Sarsfield was also a long-time leader of the Conservative Party of Cork, and unsuccessful stood for election as an MP for Cork.

Quincey pictured at Cork City Orange Hall in Tuckey street, now a coffee shop.
Quincey pictured at Cork City Orange Hall in Tuckey street, now a coffee shop.

“This event has been a great example of how our history can be a positive tool in enabling understanding of differing modern perspectives and attitudes,” Mr Dougan told the Echo afterwards. “Orangeism is an intrinsic part of not just Irish history, it is still an intrinsic part of modern society for tens of thousands.” 

Mr Dougan’s research continues and he would be interested to hear from anyone with any artefacts or recollections from the Cork Orange history. He can be contacted at qdougan01@qub.ac.uk. There are plans for him to return to give a similar talk in west Cork.

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