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Leadership required from political unionism - Kelly

14 July, 2015 - by Gerry Kelly

Sinn Féin MLA Gerry Kelly has called for leadership from political unionism to deal with the outstanding issues around parading. 

Speaking after last night's loyalist violence which followed an Orange Order march in north Belfast, Mr Kelly said;

"The disgraceful scenes of violence witnessed last night in north Belfast must be condemned by all. 

"But condemnation is not enough. Those in positions of responsibility within political unionism must show leadership to address the entire issue surrounding parading as well as the disturbances seen last night. 

"That leadership has been lacking. In the run up to the 12th we had the withdrawal of marshals and public statements warning of violence, the burning of flags, symbols and effigies and pictures threatening Catholics with crucifixion. 

"In order to deal with the remaining issues around parading there needs to be a process of genuine local dialogue with no predetermined outcomes.

"Last nights scenes and those in the run up to the 12th cannot be repeated. Work needs to be pushed forward to address these issues. Complacency is not a solution." 

Gerry Kelly added: 

"In terms of the incident last night when a young girl and others were hit by a car the quick actions by local residents and the PSNI need to be commended in saving this girl. 

"Our thoughts are with her and her family and we hope for a speedy recovery."

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