Page last updated at 09:11 GMT, Wednesday, 24 February 2010

Parades group delivers report

Orange Order
The Orange Order has held parades for two centuries

A DUP/Sinn Fein working group on parades has delivered its report to the first and deputy first ministers.

The six-strong group, set up as part of the Hillsborough deal, has been meeting every day for the past two weeks.

It held discussions with the Orange Order and residents groups on Monday.

The report is expected to provide the basis for fresh legislation dealing with parades. The document is not due to be made public which has concerned the loyal orders and residents.

The remit of the DUP/Sinn Fein parades working group was to agree a framework for dealing with what is a particularly controversial issue in Northern Ireland.

Three DUP members and three Sinn Fein members were tasked with designing a new and improved framework to rule on controversial marches, including a focus on local solutions, mediation and adjudication.

Nationalist residents in mainly working-class areas such as north Belfast and Portadown in County Armagh oppose Orange Order processions in their areas because they view them as triumphalist.

Members of the loyal orders accuse residents of going out of their way to be offended and maintain it is their traditional right to demonstrate on the streets.

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