John Wayne’s Ulster roots are celebrated on Orange marching drum
Lambeg drum now bears image of Hollywood legend
By IrishCentral Staff Writers,
Published Thursday, February 28, 2013, 7:59 AM
Updated Thursday, February 28, 2013, 9:47 AM
John Wayne’s memory and his Irish heritage has been immortalised on a loyalist marching drum in Northern Ireland.
The Belfast Newsletter reports that an image of Wayne, descended from an Antrim emigrant, has been painted on a Lambeg drum.
The paper says that Wayne famously described himself as ‘just a Scotch-Irish boy’ whose Ulster-Scots roots were in the Randalstown area.
The Quiet Man star was the great great grandson of Robert Morrison from Andraid on the River Maine.
Now two community groups in Ulster have come together to pay their own unique tribute to The Duke.
The report says that Caddy and District Community Group (CDCG) along with Neillsbrook Community Development Group (NCDG) worked for months on the quest to trace the Morrison family tree, all the way back from the American frontier to Co Antrim.
They found, with the help of the Ulster-Scots Community Network, that Robert Morrison was baptised at Connor Presbyterian Church in 1782.
The network’s education officer, Matthew Warwick, said the young rebel was effectively forced into exile.
Warwick revealed: “At 16 years old, like so many of his fellow mid-Antrim Presbyterians, Robert Morrison took part in the 1798 Rebellion of United Irishmen, or the ‘turn-oot’ as it is known locally.
“After the suppression of the rebellion, Morrison learned that a warrant had been issued for his arrest for the role he had played in the insurrection.
“Fearing imprisonment, he fled with his mother Nancy across the Atlantic, arriving in New York in either 1799 or 1801.”
The report adds that thousands of Ulster Presbyterians fled their homeland for America during the 18th century, seeking religious tolerance and a new life in a land of opportunity.
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