Sinn Féin - On Your Side

Sinn Féin will challenge the decisions on Orange Order marches in North and West Belfast

5 July, 2005

Sinn Féin President Gerry Adams MP today said that the decision of the Parades Commission to force three Orange Order parades through areas where they are not welcome is the wrong decision and has created a very difficult and dangerous situation in Belfast.

He said: "Sinn Féin will challenge the decisions on Orange Order marches in North and West Belfast."

Mr Adams said:

Orange marches through nationalist areas are designed to cause offence to nationalist residents. If this was simply about culture then Orange lodges and their followers would choose routes throughareas where they are welcome.

Last year a similar decision by the Parades Commission in relation to the Ardoyne 12th parade resulted directly in widespread public disorder. It was only through the efforts of republicans on theground that serious injuries were prevented. The political damage has resounded to this day.

The Orange Order buoyed by the decision last year have refused to engage in genuine and meaningful dialogue with the community in Ardoyne over the past 12 months. The Parades Commission has rewarded Orange Order intransigence with parades in both Ardoyne and along the Springfield Road.

It is my view that the Parades Commission have based their decision on a false belief that republicans can once again deal with the fall out from their decision on the ground on the day. The notion thatrepublicans can simply deal with bad decisions by the Parades Commission time and again is not tenable.

Sinn Féin wants to see a peaceful summer and we will of course do all we can to achieve this. But when decisions by the Parades Commission are destined to achieve exactly the opposite result then a very difficult situation is created. This is not sensible. It is not acceptable." ENDS

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