Commenting after last night’s UVF orchestrated rioting in North Belfast, Sinn Féin Assembly member for the area Gerry Kelly called on the leaderships of the Loyal Orders to assert themselves in finding a resolution to the issue of the small number of remaining contentious parades.
Mr Kelly said:
“There was clearly a well-planned and orchestrated attempt yesterday to further heighten tensions in North Belfast around parading and it was in my view planned and orchestrated by the UVF.
“It seems that loyalists have become the spokespersons for the Loyal Orders when it comes to parading issues in North Belfast. If we are to find a sensible resolution to contentious parades this needs to change.
“We need to hear from the leaders of the Loyal Orders, where is the leaders of the Orange Order, the Black Institution and the Apprentice Boys in all of this? They have been totally absent from the debate over parades in north Belfast.
“The Loyal Orders need to assert themselves in finding a resolution to the issue of the small number of remaining contentious parades. Such a sensible approach to dialogue and respect from the Loyal Orders would have a transformative effect on the summer here – it would allow a resolution to the very small number of contentious parades and allow residents to live in peace and the Orders members to enjoy their culture in the absence of controversy and violence.”