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Orange Order need to accept unionist domination is over

5 March, 2007

Commenting after the Orange Order issued their vision for the future, Sinn Féin representative in Upper Bann John O'Dowd said that the test for the Orange Order in the future was whether or not they could accept for the first time that the days of unionist domination were over and that all citizens had to be respected as equals.

Mr O'Dowd said:

"It is all well and good for the Orange Order to produce what they describe as their vision for the future. But for anyone to take the Orange Order seriously when they talk about the future then the Order will have to accept that the days of unionist domination are over. Unfortunately there remains many within that organisation who hark back to the days of discrimination and domination. They need to get a reality check.

"The first thing the Orange Order need to do to bring themselves into line with the political realities of 2007 is accept that they cannot march where and when they want. They need to accept the realities that they have to engage with the communities they wish to march through and they need to ditch the unionist paramilitary trappings which accompany their parades.

"If they take these types of steps then people from within the nationalist community may begin to accept that the Orange Order are serious about playing some sort of constructive role in the future a marked departure from their often violent past." ENDS

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