Gerry Adams repeats request for Loyal Order meetings
In June Sinn Féin President Gerry Adams met with the Officers of the Portadown District LOL No 1 of Portadown Orangemen. The meeting came after many requests by Mr Adams to meet with the Orange Order to discuss the issue of contentious parades.
The following month Mr. Adams wrote to Robert Saulters, the Grand Master of the Grand Orange Lodge of Ireland and to William J. Logan the Sovereign Grand Master of the Imperial Grand Black Chapter of the British Commonwealth.
Mr. Adams expressed Sinn Féin's support for the right of the Loyal Orders to organise and to hold parades and commemorations. He also expressed Sinn Féin's support for local communities.
In his letter Mr. Adams said that Sinn Féin would be pleased to receive a briefing from the various Loyal Orders and on their view of parades, but also about the place and future of Orangeism in our society. The Sinn Fein President suggested the possibility of meeting in September after the marching season was over.
Mr Adams said:
"It is and always has been the Sinn Féin position that the issue of parading can only be resolved through dialogue between the Loyal Orders and local communities.
"Sinn Féin supports the right of the Loyal Orders to organise and to hold parades and commemorations. However, where parades are contentious the right to march is conditional on agreement by local residents.
"For a number of years I have written to the Loyal Orders offering dialogue around the issue of contentious parades and about Orangeism and its place in modern Ireland. My meeting with Portadown Orangemen was part of this and was an informative and useful discussion.
"While Mr. Saulters acknowledged receipt of my letter and sent some literature, however he did not agree to meet. Consequently in a letter to him in late July I again suggested a meeting. I await his response to this request.