[Sinn Fein]

24th June 2003

Adams Criticises Parade Decision

West Belfast MP Gerry Adams has criticised the Parades Commission for rewarding the Orange Order for refusing to engage with the Springfield Road Residents after the Residents brought forward an imaginative compromise which would have allowed this years Springfield Road parade to proceed on the basis of the agreement of the host community.

Mr Adams said:

`` In recent years this parade has been forced through the local nationalist community. This has on occasion seen an oppressive military presence in the area and serious violence has erupted. It is in this context that the local residents presented the Springfield Community Initiative to the Parades Commission.

It provided the basis for the parade to proceed this year with nationalist support. However the Orange Order refused to engage with the local residents and even refused to meet with the Parades Commission to discuss the compromise plan. The Parades Commission has now rewarded the Order with a march through the nationalist part of the Springfield Road.

`` This decision defies logic and has left many residents on the Springfield Road and nationalists in general questioning the partiality of the Parades Commission itself.''

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