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Orange Order must call of protest marches - Kelly

22 July, 2013 - by Gerry Kelly

Sinn Féin MLA for North Belfast Gerry Kelly has called on the Orange Order to show leadership stating that the way to resolve contentious marching issues is not through continually applying for a contentious march every weekend but by getting to the table and holding discussions with local residents.

Speaking following the announcement that the Orange Order are to apply for a further three marches along the Crumlin Road past Ardoyne, Mountainview and the Dales Mr Kelly said:

“The actions of the Orange Order in applying for another three contentious marches past Ardoyne, Mountainview and the Dales is not the action of a body seeking diffuse the situation.

“The vast majority of people will clearly see this is as an attempt to create a standoff lasting over the summer months which will only raise tensions. The Richard Haass talks begin in September and there should be no escalation of the situation before these talks.

“The irony of these marches is that by calling for them the Orange Order are actually defeating their own argument.

“They Orange Order argue that three lodges cannot get home on the 12th of July yet on a weekly basis they intend to hold a protest march in Woodvale where people can go to and come from with no difficulties.

“The Orange Order must show leadership. It cannot continue to think that weekly protests will move this situation on.

“I am also urging political unionism to use whatever influence it has to to ensure that this situation does not escalate and that talks are presented as the only way forward.”

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