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Face-to-face talks will resolve parades issue - Gerry Kelly

26 September, 2012 - by Gerry Kelly

Sinn Féin North Belfast MLA Gerry Kelly said that the core issue of respect has not been dealt with and direct dialogue is needed regarding the Ulster Covenant parade past Carrickhill and St Patrick’s Church.

His comments follow a meeting with the Carrickhill residents to discuss the Parades Commission determination.

Gerry Kelly said:

“The residents feel that the Parades Commission determination has rewarded the organisers and bands for their breaching enmasse of their previous ruling against the bands playing music on August 25th.

“The residents still want dialogue and that dialogue should happen now. This is the first of several parades to mark centenaries that will add to the over 30 Loyal Order parades that the residents face every year.

“We also have the leaders of unionism saying that those talks between the residents and the Orange Order should take place. So lets start those talks.

 “While the residents are disappointed in the determination it also states: ‘However, the Commission is disappointed that there has not yet been direct contact between the parade organiser and Carrick Hill residents. The Commission expects this to be rectified in the near future’.  

“The Loyal Orders need to heed this and engage with the residents in face-to-face talks.

“The residents will be holding a protest within the boundaries of the Parades Commission determination but the core issues are not resolved.

 “What everyone wants is calm and for our part Sinn Féin will be there to support the residents. This issue can be resolved but for that to happen face-to-face dialogue needs to take place between the parade organisers and the local residents.”

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