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Laura Hutton/Photocall Ireland
Peace Process

Adams: Orange Order should contribute to peace process

The Sinn Féin leader said today that the order needs to “step forward”, which means dialogue with residents and dialogue with Sinn Féin.

IT IS TIME for the Orange Order to make its contribution to the peace process, Sinn Féin leader Gerry Adams said today.

Speaking before a meeting of the party’s Ard Comhairle, Sinn Féin President Adams said:

The address by Orange Order Grand Secretary, Drew Nelson to the Seanad last week, like the historic recent meeting between Martin McGuinness and Britain’s Queen Elizabeth, was an important step in the process of national reconciliation. These steps must now be built upon in practical ways that make life better for citizens.

He said that every year communities in the North “are held to ransom by a small number of contentious Orange parades”.

I suspect that many decent Orangemen would far prefer people were talking about the many parades that pass without incident rather than about the scenes of violence surrounding a minority of parades.

But Adams said that this won’t happen “while we get situations such as that in North Belfast”:

There the Orange Order bussed marchers along part of the route where a parade is welcomed to parade through an area where it is not. There is no rationale for the return parade past Ardoyne.


He noted that nearby in Crumlin Village: “the Orange Order sat down with a local residents and came to an agreement on the parade. Ardoyne residents have been waiting over 15 years for a similar type of dialogue with the Orange Order”.

Adams described the GARC parade along the Crumlin road as “also a mistake”, which resulted in “a rise in sectarian tensions and introduced more parades into a situation where residents in Ardoyne want to see less”.

The Orange Order needs to step forward and make their contribution to the Peace Process. That means dialogue with residents. It also means dialogue with Sinn Féin.

He said that he has written to the Orange Order many times over the years seeking a meeting and is repeating that call again today. “The work to prevent a repeat of this week’s violence must begin now,” concluded Adams.


Meanwhile, a 49 year old man has been charged with riotous behaviour connected to an incident in the Obins Street area of Portadown in the early hours of Thursday 12 July.

He is expected to appear before Lisburn Magistrates Court on Monday.

PSNI Chief Inspector Anthony McNally said that he wanted to reassure the community “that serious disorder has no place in our society and will not be tolerated”.

Police have been extremely proactive in our follow up investigations evidenced by this arrest. Those involved in disorder need to be aware they must answer for their unwanted and dangerous actions. Our investigations remain ongoing with further arrests anticipated over the coming days and weeks.

Yesterday, four men aged between 18 and 41 were charged with public order offences after the violent clashes in the Ardoyne area of Belfast the previous night.

Read: Four men charged over 12 July violence in Belfast>

Read: In pictures: Huge bonfires across North for the Twelfth of July>

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