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Last Updated:  Friday, 28 March, 2003, 21:09 GMT
Order denies property links
"For the price of a daily newspaper, we could have this forever"
The Protestant Orange Order has denied any formal links with a company which aims to help its members to buy land because of concerns it could "fall into nationalist hands".

The Ulster Land and Property Company distributed an information pack to Orangemen.

Its literature says it exists to acquire land and property for the benefit of the Orange institution, and thereby the Protestant people.

The logo on the top of the company's presentation pack says: "Ulster is being sold - let us buy it".

The Orange Order said the company operates in a similar way to a credit union, making it easier for people to afford to buy a property.

Address on standing order form is Orange Lodge headquarters
The institution said on Friday that it had no formal links with the company, although Orangemen were involved.

Regarding the company's statement that it wanted to stop land from falling into nationalist hands, a spokesman said: "Some Orangemen would concur with that... some wouldn't".

Although the Orange Order denied any formal links, the presentation pack invited people to send in their completed standing order mandates to the Grand Orange Lodge of Ireland at their headquarters in Belfast.

A spokesman said that while some administration matters were carried out through the Orange Order, the company was not accountable to the institution.

BBC Newsline's Maggie Swarbrick
"The Orange Order said the company operates in a similar way to a credit union"

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