[Sinn Fein]

21 August 1996

McLaughlin calls on Trimble and Paisley
to use their influence with loyal orders

Sinn Fein Chairperson, Mitchel McLaughlin has urged the unionist leadership to impress upon the Black Preceptory the need to ``take immediate steps to begin discussions with those local nationalist communities through which it wants to march on August 31st.

Mr McLaughlin said:

``The key to resolving the crisis around the marching season can only be turned if the Loyal Institutions accept the centrality of discussion and mutual consent.

``It is time that the unionist leaderships put to rest the myth of a conspiracy against protestantism. In fact the marching culture within unionism is stronger than ever. In the past ten years the number of loyal marches has increased by more than 600. The number of contentious parades is less than 1% of the total marches.

``The unionist leaderships must look beyond the narrow sectarian agenda which has guided them for generations.

``A lasting peace, which will be enjoyed by all the people of this island, is only possible if the unionist politicians stop using the scare tactics of the past, eschew the politics of exclusion and of two classes the embrace the new politics of inclusiveness and mutual consent.

``There is only one way forward and that is through dialogue. The Royal Black Preceptory has an opportunity, with the upcoming 31st August marches, to demonstrate leadership, friendship and common sense in seeking to achieve that mutual consent.''

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