One indication of Ireland’s divided political culture is that there is no general agreement between most catholics and most protestants on a single set of national symbols. To take the case of a national festival, in the Republic of Ireland, where ninety-four per cent of the population is catholic, St Patrick’s day (17 March) is celebrated at the popular level, the state level, and is a bank holiday. In Northern Ireland too St Patrick’s day is celebrated, but chiefly by catholics (thirty-one per cent of the population), 1 while the festival associated with the majority protestant population is Orangemen’s day (12 July) when William III’s victory at the battle of the Boyne (1 July 1690 O.S.) is commemorated. Both these festivals are kept as bank holidays in Northern Ireland (though not in the rest of the United Kingdom); the Republic of Ireland, however, extends no recognition to 12 July.