[Sinn Fein]

17 May 2001

Orange Order rewarded for its intransigence

Sinn Fein Upper Bann MLA Dr. Dara O'Hagan has slammed today's Parades Commission decision to allow a junior Orange Order march to go ahead along part of the Garvaghy Road on Saturday 26th May.

Dr. O'Hagan said:

``This parade has a history of causing considerable trouble and increasing tensions in an already volatile area.  At a period which is seeing increasing loyalist orchestrated violence in the run up to the July marching season the nationalist people of the Garvaghy Road, who have made every effort to facilitate dialogue with the Orange Order, have once again had their rights trampled upon.

``The only solution to this problem is for the Orange Order to enter into meaningful dialogue with the representatives of the Garvaghy Road community.  Recently an Orange march was restricted at Shillington's Bridge.  This move helped ease tensions in the area.  The Parades Commission, if they are sincere about helping to end the parades crisis should, instead of rewarding the Orange Order for its intransigence, follow this precedent until the Order is prepared to engage in dialogue.''

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