Sinn Féin - On Your Side

Adams meets Parades Commision

15 June, 2005

Speaking prior to meeting the Parades Commission this morning along with his Party Colleague Councillor Tom Hartley, Sinn Féin President Gerry Adams said:

"Last year as a direct result of a concerted effort and hard work by many people from both sections of the community we experienced the most peaceful Orange marching season in decades.

"Consequently many families enjoyed welcome relief from the burden of fear and violence that has been inflicted upon them annually throughout the summer months.

"No family or community should have to endure the deep trauma and fear occasioned by interface conflict.

"A trouble free Orange marching season would also make a significant contribution to building confidence in the wider political process.

"Sinn Fein is determined to ensure that the positive progress made last year is sustained and built upon. During last summer and in the months since Assembly members Gerry Kelly and Alex Maskey have headed up an engagement with civic society, the community and voluntary sector, and political opinion across all sections of society to encourage active support for the inclusive approach adopted last year.

"I will also continue to use my influence as leader of our party in whatever way possible, including by direct public appeal, to help ensure the whole community experiences a peaceful Orange marching season.

"But others have to play a constructive role also. The British government and the PSNI almost destroyed the enormous progress made last year through blatantly sectarian decisions to allow loyalist parades to proceed in Ardoyne and Lurgan. That type of decision must be avoided. In addition, there needs to be clear leadership within the unionist community. The Orange Order and the DUP, in particular, must step out of the sectarian politics of the marching season and show leadership in preventing provocative behaviour and interface conflict.

"In our discussions with the two governments Sinn Fein has urged them to participate in and resource a co-ordinated effort to ensure a repeat of last years quiet summer, to encourage the work of the existing cross-community groups, to encourage dialogue and prevent conflict and to pursue a peaceful way of resolving disputes locally." ENDS

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