Two women has claimed they were repeatedly raped and sexually abused by Orangemen decades ago.

One of the women says some of the abuse took place in and outside an Orange Hall in Fermanagh.

Sara (not her real name) claims she was abused by several Orangemen over many years in the 1970s, plus a school bus driver and a businessman. A second woman, Jackie, (not her real name) says she was abused by two men, both of whom held roles within the Orange Order, in her Grandparents’ home.

It’s understood the men are still members of the Orange Order.

Both cases were dropped by the Public Prosecution Service due to “insufficient evidence” over 20 years ago in correspondence seen by this newspaper.

The pair first approached The Impartial Reporter almost six months ago claiming the allegations were subsequently “covered up” by the Orange Order when they raised them.

As of 2013 the Orange Order had 2,000 members in Fermanagh and 89 private lodges. The allegations relate to just one lodge.

For one of those women the abuse began amid the Troubles when she was nine-years-old and a member of a band. She regularly attended band practice at an Orange Hall and took part in parades amid the fear of a possible IRA attack.

“Most of the time we were able to practise there but only with armed guard. Sometimes if it was considered too dangerous we would move to another Orange Hall because the police could protect us there easier,” said Sara.

“This was during the Troubles and a lot of people had a member of their family in the security services. Some of the players were serving members of a force and because of that we were all given protection,” she said.

But there was no protection for what she claims would take place.

When there was a break during band practice the older men within the band, she claims, would instruct the young boys, the younger members of the band aged 12 to 14 to remove the underwear of girls aged about eight or nine, including Sara.

“The boys had to get a pair of the girls’ knickers off and hang them on the flag pole where the Union flag would go. We were hunted like foxes.

“They would have been adolescent boys high on testosterone doing the bidding of the superiors in the lodge. They would take off our knickers as the older men watched, laughing. We’d run and try to get into a car that wasn’t locked and try to lock ourselves in, but then the boys would go on the outside and start rocking the car, trying to tip it over. As kids we were terrified so we would get out of the car and be caught. I was always caught,” she said.

However, on other occasions the situation worsened leaving children like Sara “feeling like I was in a fox and hound chase”.

“Only the fox was me and the hounds were savage, rabid paedophiles that my parents trusted to look after me.

“But it didn’t matter where I ran or how fast I ran because there were always more of them than me,” she claims.

The end result, says Sara, was “always the same”.

“I would end up on the ground, my clothes would be violently taken off me and the boys and men would proceed to touch every orifice of my young body with their hands, their penises. I was sexually abused, then they left me lying there to tidy myself up and get ready to go home where I was shouted at by my mother and threatened with various kinds of punishment for getting my clothes dirty. No one ever asked what happened to make my clothes dirty,” she explained.

She claims senior Orangemen in that lodge [and names them] “instigated” the abuse.

“One in particular would have instigated it. He would be shouting at the boys telling them ‘to get her, get her clothes off’. I ran, then I was caught. I fought, I kicked, I screamed but there was nobody there listening.”

Sara claims that she and other bandmembers were instructed by an Orangeman “not to wear knickers” underneath their kilts during a Church parade, a Friday night Orange parade or the annual Twelfth of July parade. She showed this newspaper photographs of her and her fellow bandmates pictured in their short kilts.

“When we sat down we had to sit on the ground with our knees up and the men could see our bare arses. We were so groomed at the time that we did what we were told, we were kids.

“I remember marching in Enniskillen and out to the Rossorry Church Road for the Twelfth, I was 11 or 12. I remember sitting in that field and the men slightly further down the hill looking up our kilts. It kept on happening, it happened at Brookeborough, it happened in Maguiresbridge. Men don’t wear anything under their kilts, we know this because they kept showing us their private parts and we thought this was normal,” she said.

Sara said the “abuse by Orangemen” was a “constant throughout my childhood.”

She explained how the Twelfth morning always began with band practice at the Orange Hall at 8am where crates of free alcohol were available for all band members, regardless of age.

“Dad would have brought me there as there was always some kind of lodge meeting in the morning too. Then Dad would go home to bring the rest of the family to the parade and I was left in the care of these men for the entire day.

“We drank at the hall and we drank on the bus all the way to the main parade. Later on they would buy lunch for us then it was into the first pub and lots more free drink. I remember slipping and falling in the alleyway at the side of the Harp and Crown one year, bursting my chin and not making it back to the field for the return march through Enniskillen.

“The alcohol played a big part in how those Orangemen behaved towards me and others,” she said.

Jackie say she too was sexually abused by two Orangemen in a house in Fermanagh when she was a child and claims “they were protected” by the Orange Order when she raised it with the lodge.

“It’s like a brotherhood, you are there to look after each other,” she said.