Orange Order Museum

25 June 2015

St Mary’s was represented at the opening of the new Orange Order Museum on the Cregagh Road. Jonathan Worley, a lecturer in written communications at St Mary’s, was deputised by College Principal, Peter Finn, to attend. “I was quite warmly received’, Jonathan said, "and met many interesting and friendly people."

The building, formerly used to house the Castlereagh Council, has been impressively restored with well-designed displays and meeting areas. In particular, the museum is proud of its educational and research departments, and the Order expressed interest in having a work placement student from St Mary’s. The museum has an an interesting and extensive collection of artefacts and historical documents in need of further exploration.

Among the dignitaries present were Mervyn Storey, MLA, Minister for Social Development; Chief Constable George Hamilton and former Irish President Mary McAleese.

Also invited and attending was a delegation from St Paul’s School, Bessbrook, which included former St Mary’s Liberal Arts student (now teacher) Sarah-Jane Mooney and three of her students. The students are participating in a cultural exchange sponsored by the Orange Order involving four schools in the Newry area.

The tone of the event was quite positive. As one of the speakers commented: "The past is about ethos and identity; the future is about building a shared society."

< back to News Archive