The fault lies not with the Parades Commission but with Dunloy Lodge

Posted By: July 22, 2017

“This Presbyterian Minister speaks truth to power —the power of the Orange Order to intimidate Catholics by insisting on the “RIGHT “to strut through poor Catholic areas. If Irish Republicans/Nationalists were to insist on parading through  Protestant areas, I would be the very first to oppose it. I call on the Orange Order to cast off its 16th Century-type of religious bigotry and pathology of supremacy. … Cast it all off, and join in building up The Beloved Community, as advocated by Blessed Martin Luther King, Jr.”—Fr. Sean Mc Manus.


Distributed by Irish National Caucus
                                                     By Rev Brian Kennaway
The writer is a Belfast Presbyterian Minister and author of “The Orange Order: A Tradition Betrayed.”

 He is a former member of the Parades Commission

Letters to the Editor. News Letter. Belfast. Friday, July  21, 2017.
May I take issue with the comments of the John Finlay, Worshipful Master of LOL 496 (“Our dismay at the denial of our liberties in Dunloy”).  Mr. Finlay states: “I wish to place on record our disgust, anger, and dismay that, yet again, we are being denied our democratic right to peacefully exercise our civil and religious liberties.”

May I remind Mr. Finley that, Rev Dr. Warren Porter and I joined with County Antrim officers, on their invitation, on the evening of 13 December 1996, and met with members of Dunloy Lodge to offer guidance and help.

The result of that meeting, which was attended by Mr. Finlay, was a unanimous decision to negotiate through Mediation Network, who had indicated the willingness of local residents to accommodate three parades a year.

While this agreement was betrayed by local politics and pressure from the “Spirit of Drumcree,”2 had the Dunloy Lodge stood by their decision of 13 December 1996, there would have been no opposition to three parades a year. I can well recall Mr. Finlay accompanied by Ian Paisley standing outside Police headquarters in 1997 stating, “We will sort Dunloy”.

It has not been sorted yet! The fault lies not with the Parades Commission which did not come into existence until 1997, but with the inability of the Dunloy Lodge members to keep their word.