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Ó Donnghaile comments ahead of Loyal Order Parade

28 April, 2011

Sinn Féin’s representative in the Short Strand Niall Ó Donnghaile has said the Orange Order has failed to engage with the community in that area.

Speaking today Mr Ó Donnghaile said;

“The good work taking place on the ground between grassroots organisations, is taking place in spite of the Loyal Orders; thus far they have refused to engage in any meaningful way with their neighbours in the Short Strand.

Often, Loyal Order parades undermine that sterling work which goes some way to reducing tensions and problems at interfaces.

I would hope that those taking part in Sunday’s parade will respect the determination placed upon it; I have to question the rationale of a Church Parade, taking place on a Sunday morning, objecting to the playing of a hymn while passing their neighbours in the Short Strand. Was it not their intention to play hymns in the first place?

I would hope that this is not a deliberate attempt to raise tensions as we head into the summer months, when everyone else is working to reduce them.

The community in the Short Strand have taken a particular approach towards the issue of Church Parades in East Belfast despite the blank refusal of the Orange Order to engage with us.

I have no doubt that the ongoing work between communities to reduce tensions will continue over the coming period and we will do our very best to ensure tensions are not allowed to be raised.”

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