[Sinn Fein]

6th July 1999

Blair must tell Order to talk

Sinn Fein Upper Bann Assembly Member Dr Dara O'Hagan has called on the Orange Order to call off its year long siege on the Garvaghy Road.

Dr O'Hagan said:

``The decision by the Orange Order to send home thousand of Orangemen from Drumcree is a welcomed development. They should follow up this decision by ending all protests and allow the nationalists residents an opportunity to return to a normal existence. Such a development could create a peaceful climate during which there could be face to face talks between the Orangemen and the residents representatives to find a local accommodation.

Dr O'Hagan concluded:

``Tony Blair must use his contacts with the Orange Order to impress upon the Order the importance of direct dialogue with the residents. He must make it clear to the Orangemen that this years march has been banned and will not proceed along the Garvaghy road. Sinn Fein believes that no Orange march should proceed along the Garvaghy road this year. He must also make it clear to the Orange Order that the dialogue about next years Drumcree parade must start now''ENDS

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