Battle of the Boyne: Orange Victory or Green Heroism? Who's account would you believe?
Having nothing else to do on Saturday evening, I sat in front of the T.V. flicking through the channels hoping to come across something more interesting than Who Wants To Be A Millionare. As I searched I, to my surprise, caught a glimse of the respected historian Peter Snow. As I continued to watch I discovered that he was examining the famous to some, infamous to others, Battle of the Boyne.
Growing up in this crazy little place of ours, listening every year to different unionists and loyalists preaching about the glorious 12th, and being forced to watch the extensive BBC coverage of the many sectarian Orange Order parades throughout the "province", I was of the opinion that it had been a decisive victory for British Protestants over Irish Catholics . How wrong I had been!
I watched with a mixture of interest and bewilderment, as Snow totally contradicted the ideas that I had heard about this 'great and glorious victory for the protestant sons of Ulster'. What he talked of was not how thousands of 'Ulster Protestants' had came out to fight, but that there were only a few hundred and that the most memorable contribution an 'Ulsterman' made to the battle was almost killing his 'Great King William' by accident!
Instead of 'Protestant' heroism, he told of how after king James (of England ironicly) had left the battle, around 5000 Irish Cathloics had held Williams army of around 26,000 men for over 12 hours with the help of the cavalry (also Irish) of the famous Patrick Sarsfield. (from who hundreds of G.A.A. clubs around the country take their name)
I think you will agree that this was a great achievement!
So who's victory was it? Who's men fought heroicly on the day of the Battle of the Boyne? Historian Peter Snow says the Irish Catholics. This other gentleman (above) and thousands of other Orange thugs around the 'Province' say the 'Ulster Protestants'.
Who would you believe?