7 July 2000
Dialogue and Calm Heads Required
Commenting on the Parades Commissin decision to uphold its ruling on Sunday's proposed Orange Order parade in Portadown, Upper Bann MLA Dr. Dara O'Hagan said:
``The proposal offered by the Orange Order was simply not feasible. The key to resolving problems relating to Orange marches in this and other areas is dialogue. It is my hope that the Orange Order give the full implications of this message careful consideration and resolves to at long last act in a manner conducive to drawing these matters to a close.''
Describing Portadown Orange Order leader Harold Gracey's refusal to condemn loyalist violence Dr. O'Hagan said: ``Harold Gracey publicly called for widespread protests in support of Portadown Orangemen. The violence and destruction witnessed during the week came by way of response to Mr. Gracey's call. In light of this Harold Gracey cannot distance himself from these appalling events.
``By refusing toocondemn these events it can only be assumed that he is in full support of the actions of the loyalist mobs upon whom he called for assistance. The current situation requires calm heads and rational thinkers. Harold Gracey would therefore do well to stay silent.'
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