[Sinn Fein]

9 December 1998

Orange Order must end siege

Statement from Sinn Fein Assembly Member for Upper Bann Dr. Dara O'Hagan on todays meeting of the leadership of the Orange Order.

Dr. O'Hagan said:

``The only thing that the people of the Garvaghy Road want to emerge from todays meeting is the news that the Orange Order is calling off its siege of their area. It is clear that the only solution to the ongoing problems in Portadown is through dialogue between all of the parties involved.

``This dialogue will be best served in an atmosphere free from intimidation and violence. Both of which have clearly been part of the ongoing campaign to march along the Garvaghy Road.

``The Orange Order can no longer ignore their responsibilities to the people of Portadown, who have endured intimidation daily for almost seven months. It is now time for the siege to be called off and the fruitless attempt to march along the Garvaghy Road should end. The Orange Order leadership must seek dialogue with the residents of the Garvaghy road in a bid to reach an accommodation. The problems in Portadown are difficult but not insurmountable if approached in a positive manner.''

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