“The DUP should stop hiding behind the Orange Order” O’Dowd
Commenting this evening Sinn Féin’s spokesperson on Parades John O’Dowd MLA said;
“The Orange Order rejection of new parades legislation should not be allowed to veto the establishment and endorsement by the Assembly of a new framework to address the issue of parades.
The legislation is an important part of the outworking of the Hillsborough Castle Agreement. The Orange Order were not party to that Agreement and they cannot be afforded a veto over progress to resolve this issue.
The fact that there is a parading issue at all is entirely down to past failures by the Orange Order to reach accommodation on a small number of contentious parades. They continue to have difficulty with recognition of the community's right to live free from sectarian harassment. And they continue to have a difficulty with the concepts of dialogue and mediation and code of conduct. They have a responsibility to play a full part in resolving this important issue. Instead of allowing them a veto on new legislation they should be confronted with their responsibilities with respect to parades in general and contentious parades in particular.
The DUP should stop hiding behind the Orange Order and support the introduction of the Parades Bill into the Assembly. The parties that made the agreement at Hillsborough can ensure the Parades Bill passes through the Assembly and becomes legislation.” CRÍOCH