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Adams criticises Orange decision on Parading Legislation and Appeals for Calm over 12th

8 July, 2010 - by Pat Sheehan


Sinn Féin President Gerry Adams has described the decision by the Orange Order’s Grand Lodge to reject draft proposals on parades as “deeply disappointing”. He said: “The decision by the Orange leadership sends out a negative message to all progressive sections of our society and is a stark reminder of the sectarian undercurrent that marks the parading issue.”

The Sinn Fein leader also accused the Ulster Unionist Party of “reprehensible behaviour” by “indulging in disgraceful party politics”.

He said: “The UUP approach, as articulated by Tom Elliot and David McNarry, has been dictated not by what is best for the community and the future peaceful resolution of contentious Orange marches, but by the UUP’s desire to score political points against the DUP.”

Mr. Adams said:

“There are now almost 4,000 parades annually by the various marching orders and most of these pass off peacefully. There are however a small number of contentious parades and the agreement between Sinn Féin and the DUP at Hillsborough is a serious and genuine attempt to provide a legal framework within which this matter can be resolved.

The proposals currently being processed are a common sense approach to tackling a very difficult issue.
The legislation seeks to protect the rights of the marching orders and the rights of host communities.

Unfortunately, a section of the Grand Lodge, some of whom are also members of the UUP, are seeking to undermine this endeavour. So too is the SDLP. This is reprehensible behaviour.”

The Sinn Fein President added:

“I have written to the leaderships of the various marching orders in recent weeks asking to meet with them to receive a briefing on the issue of parades and to discuss with them the role and place of orangeism in modern Irish society.

I believe a dialogue between us would be very helpful in reducing tensions and creating a climate in which greater understanding could be encouraged.

This is particularly important in light of the efforts by some on the fringes of unionism and nationalism who seek to provoke conflict and street disorder around the 12th.

This must be strenuously opposed. I would appeal to everyone to behave in a dignified manner in the next few days." ENDS

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