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Thursday, 20 June, 2002, 13:53 GMT 14:53 UK
Criticism over Order's 'lack of dialogue'
Mr Holland says Orange Order failed to engage
Mr Holland says Orange Order failed to engage
The Orange Order has been criticised by the Northern Ireland Parades Commission for "failing to engage in proper dialogue".

In the commission's fourth annual report published on Thursday, Chairman Tony Holland said it was not surprising the Orange Order had failed to achieve all it wanted when it only got involved in "sporadic talks".

He appealed for people of influence to encourage the Orange Order to get more involved in sustained dialogue.


They come roaring in here, if you like, in the summer wanting to make certain points to us

Tony Holland
Parades Commission

"There has been gradual and steady progress over this issue of parading," said Mr Holland.

"Since last year, the number of contentious parades that we have had to impose restrictions on has diminished."

While the decrease in contentious parades is not overly significant, the commission points to two conferences held on the issue which brought about indirect contact with the Orange Order.

However, the problem of Drumcree remains.

The Drumcree dispute centres on the Orange Order's desire to walk along the mainly nationalist Garvaghy Road, near Portadown in County Armagh - a route opposed by many nationalist residents.

The Parades Commission has barred the Order from marching down the road for the last four years.

Controversial parades

Mr Holland added: "They come roaring in here, if you like, in the summer wanting to make certain points to us.

"When we want to engage with them, however, in the closed season, we find it more difficult.

"I'm talking now about, not about the protagonists, but key players in the whole arena of parading."

He said there was no evidence to suggest there had been an appreciable change in relation to Drumcree.

The Northern Ireland Parades Commission was set up in 1997 to make decisions on whether controversial parades should be restricted.

 WATCH/LISTEN
 ON THIS STORY
BBC NI's Mervyn Jess:
"The problem of Drumcree remains"
See also:

25 May 02 | N Ireland
08 Jul 00 | N Ireland
27 May 01 | N Ireland
23 May 00 | N Ireland
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