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Orange Order should re-route away from St. Patrick’s Church

30 August, 2012 - by Westminster

Sinn Féin MP for West Belfast Paul Maskey has urged the Orange Order to reflect on the disgraceful scenes outside St. Patrick’s church on Saturday and the serious offence caused to Catholics in the city and to take the heat out of the situation by avoiding parading past the church for the remainder of the marching season and in particular the massive parade going to Stormont in September.

Mr Maskey said:

“The sectarian behaviour displayed on Saturday outside St. Patrick’s is as clear a demonstration of what is wrong with parading in North Belfast as you are likely to see. Let people be very clear, these parades are a joint enterprise between the loyal orders and loyalist paramilitaries and in particular the UVF.

“Saturday shows they cannot be trusted to parade either lawfully or respectfully. They cannot be trusted to march past St Patricks Church. The Loyal Orders need to realise this, they need to take the heat out of this situation and they need to reroute themselves away from Donegal Street and St. Patrick’s church for the remainder of the marching season.

“Saturday’s blatant flouting of the law was a step too far. That is the sensible thing to do and it is the right thing to do in the wake of Saturday’s parade. There is an easily accessible and non contentious alternative route down the Shankill where the parade would be appreciated and into the city centre. The Orange Order now need to step up to the mark and follow the lead of the Protestant Church’s in recent days and show some leadership. ”

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