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Gerry Kelly comments on Ardoyne parade

12 July, 2006

Commenting after the 12th July Orange Parade passed through three nationalist areas in North Belfast, Sinn Féin Assembly member for the area Gerry Kelly praised local people for their contribution to what was a relatively peaceful parade.

Mr Kelly said:

"Firstly I would like to praise the nationalist residents of Ardoyne, Moutainview and the Dales who have once again had to endure an unwanted Orange Parade being forced through their community.

"There clearly were breaches of the Parades Commission determination particularly in relation to the carrying of unionist paramilitary flags.

"But the lesson which needs to be learned from this evening is that dialogue is the only way forward. The nationalist residents in Ardoyne have proven that they are up for dialogue and want to engage in a meaningful process with the loyal orders.

"Political parties have an obligation to support these efforts. However the DUP by their continuing refusal to talk directly to Sinn Féin send out a negative message to their own community about the need to engage in such a process.

"So far this evenings parade has passed off without major incident and that is to be welcomed. However it is important that this is now consolidated and built upon immediately if further progress is to be secured." ENDS

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