Sinn Féin comment on Garvaghy Road Court ruling
Sinn Féin Assembly member for Upper Bann John O'Dowd said today that the decision of three Diplock judges in the Belfast High Court not to grant leave for the Garvaghy Road residents to appeal to the House of Lords did not alter one iota the fact that Peter Hain has delivered a completely imbalanced Parades Commission and undermined public confidence in its ability to deliver in a fair and impartial manner.
Mr O'Dowd said:
"The arrogant, almost colonial approach adopted by Peter Hain to appointments to the Parades Commission and indeed other public bodies has caused much justifiable concern and indeed anger. The decision by the Diplock judges in the Belfast High Court not to refer the appeal of the Garvaghy Road residents to the House of Lords does not alter one iota the fact that Peter Hain has delivered a completely imbalanced Parades Commission and undermined nationalist confidence in its ability to deliver in a fair and impartial manner.
"As we enter into the middle of the marching season proper there is a real concern that Peter Hain has managed to make what is a traditionally difficult situation even more problematic. The Parades Commission is supposed to be an independent arbiter of these contentious marches. Nobody looking at the current Commission objectively could describe it as anything other than unbalanced.
"That is the core of the problem for Peter Hain and the Parades Commission. It is they who have to build public confidence in their ability to deliver and in particular they have to prove to the nationalist community how a body including Orange Order members and sympathisers can behave impartially and fairly over the issue of contentious parades." ENDS