Sinn Féin comment on Orange Order statement
Commenting after meeting the Parades Commission in Belfast this morning, Sinn Féin Assembly member Gerry Kelly said he shared the hopes expressed in an Orange Order statement that the marching season would be peaceful.
“Today Sinn Féin met with the Parades Commission to discuss the upcoming tour of the north parade. Again the parade organisers have refused to talk to local residents. This plays directly into the hands of those who seek to undermine our peace and political process.
“Sinn Fein is convinced that the only way to resolve the small number of contentious parades which have the potential to destabilize local communities, is to have a process of dialogue between the Loyal Orders and local residents. Engagement can also contribute to building relationships at a personal level and developing mutual respect.
“Last year the Orange Order said that local lodges were free to enter into dialogue with local communities. This happened in Crumlin last July with an agreed outcome as a result but has not been replicated anywhere else. Today’s statement by the Orange Order speaks of goodwill and of building a platform. So the next logical step is immediate dialogue with residents.
“The Orange Order today expresses the hope that this year’s marching season will be peaceful. We share that sentiment and call for a peaceful summer and for calm in the coming weeks and months. There is nothing to be gained by anyone through violence on our streets this summer.”