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Blair says Orange Order must engage in meaningful dialogue following peaceful protest

July 22, 2013 10:36 AM

John BlairAlliance North Belfast representative Cllr John Blair has said that the Orange Order must engage in meaningful dialogue with all groups to find a resolution to the disputed parade in North Belfast. His comments follow a peaceful protest on Saturday by the Orange Order after they were banned from marching past the Ardoyne shops.

Cllr John Blair said: "Thankfully this protest was peaceful and there was no violence on Saturday night. However, tensions in the area remain high and calm will not be restored by continued protests.

"I am concerned by the language used by the Orange Order that this protest was the beginning of a campaign on parades. We need to see the Orange Order engage in meaningful dialogue with all groups. This is the only way that a positive resolution will be found.

"I welcome their declaration that they will work with the Richard Haass led cross party talks. This group will discuss several issues including flags, parading and the past. This shared future reference group was an Alliance Party suggestion in our 'For Everyone' document, and I hope that through meaningful engagement by all sides we will deliver a genuine shared future."

ENDS

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