Stormont junior minister Gerry Kelly wants the Orange Order to make a move — and change the route of its contentious march which passes Ardoyne in north Belfast.
“That’s what needs to be done here,” he said in an interview with the Belfast Telegraph.
“Do it unilaterally, that way you don’t lose face.” The Sinn Fein MLA said the Order had “not stepped up to the mark” in the peace process.
“They are still making these demands to march through areas,” he said.
“I’m not against Orange culture, what I’m against is it being forced down people’s throats where it’s not wanted.
“My call is that the Orangemen need to move they need to shape up,” he said.
The North Belfast MLA, who was recently informed by police about a threat from dissidents, also wants those groups to “come forward and explain the rationale” behind the violence in Ardoyne.
“There was a rifle found in an entry nearby — that shows their intent,” he said.
“A gun was fired under cover of a riot, pipe-bombs thrown. We could easily have been looking at deaths here.”
The Sinn Fein minister said the intention of the dissidents had been to try to “popularise” themselves.
Asked did he believe they were trying to provoke a reaction from mainstream republicans, he responded: “Unfortun- ately that’s precisely the way they think. It won’t work.
“They are trying to undermine the peace process and the political process.
“You have to ask the question, when unionism is in turmoil, and republicans and nationalists are feeling confident, why do you have this mix?
“Where is the hand?” he asked.