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Adams comments on Orange Order failure to engage

17 July, 2009 - by Pat Sheehan, Westminster

Sinn Féin President Gerry Adams has described Orange Order Grand Secretary Drew Nelsons rejection of talks with Sinn Féin as ‘disappointing’.
Mr. Adams said:
“I listened to Drew Nelson's radio interview this morning. It is clear that he is allowing his personal feelings to undermine his leadership responsibilities and obligations. Republicans could put up exactly the same pre conditions as Mr Nelson. We very consciously refrain from doing so.
“Dialogue is a necessary part of any human discourse. It is especially so in a conflict resolution process. It is also in the interests of the Orange Order. Apart from the small numbers of disputed Orange parades which require solutions, the Orange Order leaderships refusal to talk makes a nonsense of their other initiatives like Orangefest.
“How can the Orange Order hope to be a constructive part of the new political dispensation if they refuse to accept the electoral mandate of the largest party in the north?

“Mr Nelson calls on me to apologise for and to stop glorifying IRA killings. For the record I have never glorified IRA killings. My position on the IRA is a matter of public record. Mr Nelson disagrees with me. He, like me, is entitled to his opinion. I have also stated my regrets at the deaths and injuries caused by republicans. This includes members of loyal institutions.
“All the deaths and the bereavement of families from all sides should be a matter of regret for everyone, republican and Orangeman alike. A commitment to prevent such deaths should also be the responsibility of republicans and Orangemen. Upholding the primacy of dialogue and engaging with each other in the public interest and the common good is part of this.” ENDS

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