3 July 2000
Drumcree decision - Orange Order must allow people of Garvaghy Road to live free from sectarian harassment
Commenting on today's decision by the Parades Commission on Drumcree, the Sinn Fein Assembly member for Upper Bann, Dr Dara O'Hagan, said that the Orange Order must allow the people of the Garvaghy Road to live free from sectarian harassment. She called on the Orange Order to lift their siege. Dr O'Hagan said:
``It is clear from the Parades Commission's determination that four areas must be addressed by the Orange Order: they must comply with this determination; there must be a moratorium on all Drumcree-related marches; they must stop inciting others to break the law; and they must engage with the Garvaghy Road Residents' Coalition.
``In essence, this means that the Orange Order must come down off the hill and lift their siege of the Garvaghy Road community. The people of the Garvaghy Road must be allowed to live free from sectarian harassment.
``The Orange Order cannot absolve themselves of their responsibility for loyalist violence. They are calling people onto the streets and they must take responsibility for the ensuing violence and the threat of violence.
``Direct dialogue is the only way to come to any understanding. The Orange Order has failed to enter into dialogue, and their dismissal of the legitimate concerns of nationalist residents is testament to the Orange Order's inability to accept that the rights of nationalists cannot be trampled on.
``Any talk of limited Orange Order marches in the future is premature. The Orange Order must first demonstrate their commitment to ending the siege of the Garvaghy Road to stop calling people onto the streets and threatening violence, and to engage in meaningful dialogue with residents where their concerns are addressed.'' ENDS
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