Easter Rising: Orange lodge band to mark 1916 rebellion in Cavan commemoration

Jim Mills and Martin O'Donahue Image copyright Jim Mills and Martin O'Donahue
Image caption Jim Mills and Martin O'Donahue put their cultural differences aside to make music

An Orange lodge band will take part in an event to commemorate the 1916 Easter Rising in County Cavan on Saturday.

The meeting of minds and music will be led by traditional Irish musician, Martin Donohue, and his friend Jim Mills, secretary of the Orange Order in Mullaghboy.

The two men have forged a partnership which looks past their cultural differences.

Together with their bands, they will remember the Easter Rising.

The 1916 Easter Rising was an attempt to overthrow British rule in Ireland.

It was unsuccessful but is seen as a significant stepping stone to the eventual creation of the Republic of Ireland and the partition of Ireland.

More than 450 people were killed and 2,500 injured during six days of fighting.

Speaking on the BBC's Evening Extra programme, Mr Mills said it was important for Protestants to take part in the commemoration event because "it wasn't just Catholics who were involved in the rising."

He said it was "only right and proper" that the lodge celebrated "along with everyone else".

Mr Donohue and Mr Mills have been making music together since they first made contact through a cross-community fund in 2010.

"It's always a positive thing when we get together to make music", Mr Donohue told the BBC.

Work together

"There was a lot of apprehension ahead of our first meeting and people on our side said there was no way it would work.

"People asked, 'what will it be like? Will we be welcome?', but when we got to the lodge that first time there was cake and tea and so much history and it was great."

The pair also joked about Mr Donahue joining Mr Mills and his band on the Twelfth of July - traditionally the biggest day in the Protestant marching season.

The 12 July parades mark the anniversary of King William III's victory over Catholic King James at the Battle of the Boyne in 1690.

Mr Mills said: "What we do shows people we can work together, so why can't everybody else?"

Related Topics

More on this story