The Orangemen, or the Orange Institution, are a Protestant organisation based in Northern Ireland. The name comes from the Protestant king William of Orange, who came to the throne in England after his Catholic uncle James II was deposed. William's victory over James at the Battle of the Boyne is marked by the Orangemen every year.
The Orangemen appeared in the 1790s as organised opposition to the Society of United Irishmen, which was in turn set up to oppose sectarianism in Ireland. In the nineteenth century, conflict broke out between the Orangemen and the Ribbonmen, an Irish Catholic secret society. The order was banned between 1823 and 1845 due to the violence it and other organisations were perpetrating.
The order declined towards the latter half of the nineteenth century, only to revive when the question of Home Rule for Ireland emerged as a serious debate. The Orangemen opposed any form of Irish self-government, arguing that it would lead to Ireland being ruled from Rome. Their opposition continued through the period of Partition and the Troubles that followed.
Every year in July, the Orangemen march through the area of Dumcree in Portadown, now a predominantly Catholic area of Northern Ireland. From around 1873 to 1998 the marching provoked violent conflicts with the local Catholic population, sometimes with fatalities; it is still a source of tension.