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Parades Commission no place for Orangemen

17 May, 2006

Sinn Féin Assembly member for Upper Bann John O'Dowd today said that unlike the SDLP his party believed that the Parades Commission was no place for members of the Orange Order. Mr O'Dowd made his remarks after meeting with the Commission in Belfast.

Mr O'Dowd said:

"We met the Parades Commission this morning in Belfast and made it clear to them that real damage has been done to their reputation by the manner in which the British Secretary of State Peter Hain has conducted the appointments process.

"The Parades Commission job is to issue determinations on parades, the majority of which are organised by the Loyal Orders. Given this fact there should be no place on the Parades Commission for members of the Orange Order.

"Both Don McKay and David Burrows have been found out falsifying the details on their application forms. McKay has resigned and Burrows position is untenable also. I made it clear to the Commission today that unlike the SDLP we do not accept Orange Order members issuing determinations on contentious parades organised by their organisation. This is a ludicrous situation and must be rectified if public confidence is to be restored in the Commissions ability to do its job in an impartial and fair manner.

"The onus is now on the Parades Commission to get its house in order and concentrate on carrying out the task it is supposed to fulfil." ENDS

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