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Progress on parading will be on the basis of dialogue

22 May, 2007

Sinn Féin Assembly group leader, Upper Bann MLA John O'Dowd commenting on the first meeting of the Strategic Review of Parades Body today, has that progress on the parading issue will be on the basis of local dialogue and accommodation to resolve contentious parades.

Mr O'Dowd said:

"Sinn Fein have already expressed reservations about the ability of Paddy Ashdown to act as an impartial and independent chairperson, however, many of the local appointees to the group do have a grasp and an experience of the difficult issue of contentious parades.

"The key to resolving contentious parades is local dialogue between marching orders and the communities they wish to march through. That is the lesson of the past ten years.

"This is a difficult issue which in the past has resulted in significant community conflict and unrest. It is an issue which needs resolved.

"This means groups, including the Loyal Orders, reflecting upon new political realities and seriously considering the motivation behind seeking to march through communities where they are clearly not wanted." ENDS

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