Sinn Féin - On Your Side

MEPs raise issue of parades at EU Parliament

7 July, 2005

Sinn Féin MEP's Bairbre de Brún and Mary Lou McDonald have raised the issue of Orange Order parades with the GUE/NGL group at the EU Parliament.

Speaking after the meeting of the GUE/NGL group the Sinn Féin MEP Bairbre de Brún said:

"There was a very supportive response from the GUE/NGL group on the issue of parades and particularly the situation in Belfast.

"The decision to force unwelcome Orange Order parades through nationalist areas, particularly the decision of the Parades Commission to force these two parades through three nationalist areas in North Belfast has created an
extremely volatile and dangerous situation.

"Despite the obvious anger that now exists within the nationalist community in Ardoyne and throughout the Six Counties it is to their credit that residents groups continue to offer generous compromise arrangements which
would if adopted significantly defuse tensions and assist the task of maintaining calm across the city.

"Sinn Féin believe that the rights of residents need to be upheld. We also support the rights of the Orange Order to parades. However, it is vital that genuine engagement and agreement form the bedrock of dealing with the issue
of parades." ENDS

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