Sinn Féin North Belfast MLA Gerry Kelly said the statement earlier today from the Orange Order regarding the Ulster Covenant parade was an attempt to deflect away from the need for face-to-face discussions with the Carrickhill residents group.
Gerry Kelly said:
“In this statement the Orange Order have said that they had no objection to talking to representatives of the Carrickhill residents group. Then even by their own rationale there is nothing to prevent them entering those discussions even at this late stage.
“The Order are trying to narrow this argument down to St Patrick’s Church when in fact what happened there on 12th July and 25th August is a manifestation of the sectarian abuse the residents of Carrickhill suffer from on an ongoing basis with over 30 parades loyal Order parades passing their homes each year.
“The only quiet conversations that have taken place over the last few days have been unionists talking to themselves. They have then come out together against dialogue.
“If mutual respect is to be shown then those who file for the parade and those who file for a protest need to sit down in face-to-face discussions to find a resolution.”