Orange Order wants to revive the story of a bloody battle fought in Galway

Galway Daily news Orange Order wants tourist trail exploring the bloody Battle of Aughrim

The Orange Order thinks that the village of Aughrim in East Galway could become a draw for tourist with a renewed look at its bloody place in history.

The small village near Ballinasloe was the site of the bloodiest battle in the Williamite-Jacobite war in 1691 with nearly 7,000 dead on the field when the dust settled.

That’s more than four times the human cost of the Battle of the Boyne, which would come to dominate the narrative of the war since both William of Orange and James II were there.

Now the Grand Orange Lodge thinks they can spark new interest in Aughrim, by making the village one of the key stops in a planned tourist trail following the path of the Williamite War.

According to the Belfast Telegraph senior figures at the orange order are in talks with the government and Tourism Ireland to create a signposted tourist trail that would feature all of the key spots of the war.

It would  follow the course of the war from the Siege of Derry in 1688, through the Battle of the Boyne, west to Galway and Aughrim, before coming to its end in Limerick where the Jacobite forces surrendered in 1691.

Dr Jonathan Mattison, curator of the Museum of Orange Heritage in Belfast said that Aughrim was one of the events of the war which had become a footnote in history.

He said that no matter people’s community or cultural “history is history” and it’s important that people look at history.

Aughrim was essentially the deciding battle that ended any chance of the Jacobites prolonging the war in any meaningful fashion.

Grand Secretary of the Grand Orange Lodge of Ireland, Mervyn Gibson, said that he didn’t expect this to be anything like Titanic or Game of Thrones in Belfast for drawing visitors.

But, he argued, a modern tourist trail would still be an asset for Ireland’s tourist offering.

Mr Gibson said that so far talks have been positive with both sides seeing a benefit for Ireland.