[Sinn Fein]

2 July 1996

Adams comments on Orange march tension

Sinn Fein President Gerry Adams commenting on the growing tension around Orange marches planned for the immediate future in nationalist areas has said that ``it is everyone's responsibility to do all we can to defuse this potentially dangerous and very divisive issue''.

The Sinn Fein President asked Ian Paisley and David Trimble ``what do you hope to achieve by pursuing a course of action which is confrontational and provocative?''

Mr. Adams called on ``political and religious and community leaders to address and resolve this problem on a six county basis. It is time that this issue was tackled properly and an accommodation reached which applies to every area.

Mr. Adams said:

``So far, despite widespread solidarity, it has fallen upon those who live in isolated communities to bear the brunt of campaigning against unwanted orange marches. This is unfair. Those who live in communities whether in Roslea, the Garvaghy Road or the Lower Ormeau should be relieved of the burden of dealing with this contentious issue.

``The Orange Order also may need help and deserve support if it embraces a more progressive position.

``There are around 3,000 orange marches, twice as many now as in the early 70s. By and large nationalists and others are very tolerant of these marches. Sinn Fein accepts that the Orange Order has the right to march. However, where local communities object and withhold their consent to marches, the Orange Order should respect this position.''

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