Adams welcomes start of “new dialogue” with Orange Order
The Sinn Féin president Gerry Adams has welcomed the start of a “new dialogue” with the Orange Order.
Deputy Adams was referring to the address by Drew Nelson, Grand Secretary of the Grand Orange Lodge of Ireland in the Seanad today.
This was the first time that a member of the Orange Order has addressed the Houses of the Oireachtas and indeed the first time Sinn Féin representatives have had the opportunity to publicly engage directly with the order.
Speaking from Leinster House Deputy Adams said:
“I welcome the engagement today by Grand Secretary of the Orange Order Drew Nelson. The very fact that the secretary was here was significant. Indeed I believe this is the start of a new dialogue with the Orange Order. However in all of these initiatives it is where we go from here that is important.
“Sinn Féin agrees with Mr Nelson when he talks about the need to ‘cherish all of the children of the nation equally.’ He also drew attention to the plight of protestant schools and we are at one with him on that issue. In a real republic every child should be cherished regardless of background or ethnicity. So clearly there are a lot of common areas that we can build upon but that can only be done with dialogue.”
On the issue of contentious parades Deputy Adams stressed the need for dialogue:
“There are a small number of areas in the north where parades are contentious. In those areas the Orange Order must talk to communities and community leaders. There can be no resolution without dialogue.”