“The Orange Riots in Belfast”


"Emancipation first tortured them [Orangemen] sore But O'Connell's procession it grieved them far more," so they took it as an excuse to burn Dan's effigy and "to murder and tear Saint Malachy's Chapel." They should consider their own July 12 parading.


Leyden: "The protagonists in these disturbances were the Protestants of Sandy Row and the Catholics of the nearby Pound area (now the Divis Flats area)." The Catholic navvies were "engaged in the excavation of the New Docks." "Never before had there been rioting on such a scale with widespread shooting, intimidation and looting of gunsmiths, resulting in death, injury and destruction."

The conflict began when the foundation stone for a statue of Daniel O'Connell was laid in Dublin. That evening Sandy Row Protestants burned an effigy of O'Connell in Belfast. St Malachy's Chapel was the meeting place for Catholic navvies reacting to the effigy burning. Following an attack by the navvies on Brown Square School, Protestants "headed for St. Malachy's to seek revenge." (source: Leyden) For notes on Daniel O'Connell see "Erin's Green Shore [Laws Q27]."

See the notes to "The Boys of Sandy Row" for comments on sectarian riots earlier and later in the same Belfast area. - BS

Historical references

  • Aug 8-23, 1864 - Belfast riots about Dublin Daniel O'Connell statue (source: Leyden).

Cross references


  • Bodleian, 2806 b.9(270), "The Orange Riots in Belfast" ("Rejoice sons of Erin all over the land"), unknown, n.d.


  1. Leyden 42, "The Orange Riots in Belfast" (1 text)
  2. BI, Leyd042


Author: unknown
Earliest date: 1989 (Leyden); 19C (broadside, Bodleian 2806 b.9(270))