Page last updated at 15:55 GMT, Saturday, 27 September 2008 16:55 UK

SF Adams wrote to Orange Order

by Gareth Gordon
BBC NI political correspondent

The Order have said the letters are unlikely to lead to a meeting

The head of the Orange Order has revealed he has been in communication with the Sinn Féin president Gerry Adams.

He made the disclosure at a meeting of the Grand Lodge in the Republic on Saturday.

Gerry Adams wrote to the Orange Grand Master Roberts Saulters some months ago requesting information on the Order.

Mr Saulters said he had replied, sending Mr Adams some literature on the traditions of the institution.

Mr Adams wrote back confirming he had received Mr Saulters correspondence.

The exchange was confirmed by an Orange Order spokesman, however sources said it is unlikely to lead, at this stage, to a meeting between the Grand Lodge and Mr Adams.

In June it was revealed that three senior Orangemen from Portadown had met Gerry Adams and an aide. An exchange that was criticised by the Grand Lodge.

The meeting of the Grand Lodge in County Cavan on Saturday was the first in the Republic since partition, another sign of changing times for the institution.

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