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"No amount of motions from unionist politicians will resolve the issue of contentious parades." -O'Dowd

27 October, 2009 - by John O'Dowd

Commenting on a DUP motion in Westminster today on the parading issue, Upper Bann MLA John O’Dowd said that ‘no amount of motions from unionist politicians will resolve the issue of contentious parades’. Mr O’Dowd went on to say that what was required was the Loyal Orders stepping forward for the first time and making a contribution to the peace process.

Mr O’Dowd said:

“For years unionist politicians and the Loyal Orders have ran away from resolving the issue of contentious parades. They have time and again refused to talk to nationalist communities on the basis of equality and respect. The days of the Orange Order marching where and when they want are over and will not be coming back. That is the reality.

“Motions by the DUP at Westminster won’t resolve the question of contentious marches. What needs to happen is for the all the Loyal Orders and the Orange Order in particular to make their contribution to the peace process. The Orange Order could in the stroke of a pen resolve the parading issue. To date they have stubbornly refused to do so.

“Martin McGuinness made it clear at Bodenstown this year that the days of republicans stretching ourselves and our communities to maintain calm in the face of sectarian provocation cannot last forever. It is now time for the issue of contested parades to be dealt with once and for all. It is time for the Orange Order to declare that in future they will no longer seek to force parades through catholic areas and risk bringing violence onto our streets.” ENDS

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