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Orange Order need to respect nationalist community in Portadown

18 January, 2006


Sinn Féin Assembly member for Upper Bann John O'Dowd today said that the Orange Order in Portadown and elsewhere needed to face the reality that "the nationalist community in Portadown have rights and entitlements which must be respected and upheld". Mr O'Dowd's remarks came after two Portadown Orangemen met with the Parades Commission in Belfast this morning.

Mr O'Dowd said:

"Much is being made in the media today of the decision of members of the Portadown Orange Lodge to meet with the Parades Commission in Belfast in apparent defiance of the Grand Lodge.

"It seems that since the appointment of two prominent Orangemen to the Parades Commission there are those within the Portadown district who think that turning up to a meeting with the Commission will secure a march along Garvaghy Road. That approach is unacceptable and will simply not work.

"The reality is that the Orange Order in Portadown continues to go through the weekly charade of filing for a parade every Sunday while continuing to ignore the genuine concerns of the nationalist community in Portadown.

"It is time for the Orange Order to stop playing games and acknowledge for the first time the fact that the nationalist community in Portadown have rights and entitlements which must be respected and upheld. ENDS

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