The Orange Order, a Protestant fraternal organisation committed to British unionism and Ulster loyalism, is planning to resurrect a lodge in Trinity. The plan has recently been approved by the organisation’s headquarters.
The official Trinity lodge closed in 1966 due to a lack of membership. The decision to reopen it follows indications that up to 25 current and former Trinity students are willing to join the lodge. A lodge bearing the college’s name, the Trinity College Loyal Orange Lodge 1593, currently exists, however, it is not officially affiliated with Trinity.
Speaking to Trinity News, a spokesperson for Trinity confirmed there has been no contact with Trinity as yet regarding the resurrection of the lodge. Chris McGimpsey, worshipful master of the Dublin and Wicklow Orange Lodge 1313 and a Belfast city councillor, told the Sunday Times: “Trinity College has played no role in the resurrection of the lodge. As it stands it is just a bunch of Orangemen trying to get their act together to get it up and running again.”
In order to be officially recognised by Trinity, the lodge must collect the signatures of 200 students and staff, gain permission from the Central Societies Committee (CSC) and produce their constitution.
Officially recognised Orange Order lodges are currently in place at Queen’s University Belfast (QUB) and Ulster University, and are funded by the universities.
“The lodge looks forward to making a positive contribution to modern Irish society, and we intend to work alongside various agencies, including the Irish government and Trinity, to promote greater cultural awareness and mutual understanding and respect,” Rev Stanley Gamble, master of the reconstituted Trinity Lodge, told the Sunday Times.
Trinity was founded by the Protestant British monarch Queen Elizabeth in 1592. Catholics were not permitted to study at Irish universities until 1793.
A spokesperson for Trinity did not immediately respond to request for comment.