Parades decision a capitulation to negative unionism – Kelly
Sinn Féin MLA Gerry Kelly said today that the British Secretary of State Theresa Villiers has rewarded the most intransigent elements of unionism, loyalism and the Orange Order.
Gerry Kelly was speaking after Theresa Villiers conceded a demand of anti-agreement unionist/loyalist axis for a Panel into a decision by the Parades Commission to prevent an Orange Order parade passing the nationalist Ardoyne, Mountainview and Dales areas.
The North Belfast MLA said:
“The decision by British Secretary of StateTheresa Villiers to set up a panel into loyal Order parades is capitulating to a unionist ultimatum following their walk-out from all-party talks. It underlines the British government’s partisan approach to unionism.
“This panel is not a mediation body. It does not meet the criteria set out in the Parades Commission’s determination, which stated ‘what is important is that any structures must have the confidence and endorsement of those most closely impacted by the issues’.
“The panel does not have the support of the local community. I’m also disappointed that during the course of Theresa Villiers’ discussion with negative unionism that she did not listen to the views of the residents of Ardoyne.
“This approach clearly undermines the Parades Commission, which is the statutory body set up to deal with the issue of contentious parades. That is unacceptable.
“Theresa Villiers' only contribution to this dispute has been to reward the most intransigent elements of unionism, loyalism and Orangeism.”