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Ó Donnghaile welcomes Loyal Order apology

1 October, 2012

East Belfast Sinn Féin Councillor Niall Ó Donnghaile has welcomed the apology from Drew Nelson of the Orange Order following the illegal behaviour outside St Matthews Church during Saturday's Covenant Parade.

Cllr Ó Donnghaile;

"I welcome these comments from Drew Nelson but they now need to be followed up with action from the Orange Order, particularly in relation to bands breaking the law. To many times in the past when sectarian behaviour has been caught on camera the Orange apologises but do nothing to prevent further breaches in the future. The Orange Lodges book these bands and put them on parade.

“The Parades Commission also need to reflect on the behaviour of the bands outside St Matthews in future when they make determinations. The scenes we witnessed outside St Matthew's on Saturday were particularly shocking but nothing new. I hope that the Orange Order will now acknowledge that the nationalist experience of these parades has been anything but positive. The sort of sectarian and offensive behaviour we witnessed on Saturday is the norm when parades pass St Matthews.

“The Orange Order has spoken much about respect in the course of the past few weeks. There was very little respect for the residents of the Short Strand on display on Saturday.

“We are 48 hours on from the disgraceful behaviour outside St Matthews yet we have not yet heard a word of condemnation from any of the unionist MLAs, including the First Minister, who are elected to serve this constituency, their silence to date says much about their attitude towards this community."

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