Belfast Telegraph

Unionists call for Orange Quarter

An Orange Quarter should be created on the Shankill Road to promote the culture and history of unionists, the Progressive Unionist Party said.

The Orange Order, marching band culture, the Battle of the Somme and the Ulster Scots language would feature in an area rich with wall murals, museums and parades, its manifesto for next month's elections said.

The working-class unionist party said it wants to promote a shared future. It has links with the Ulster Volunteer Force, which was blamed by the security forces last year for killing former member Bobby Moffett on the Shankill Road.

Leader Brian Ervine launched his party's manifesto, which argued for greater respect for unionist tradition, in east Belfast on Thursday.

Party member Ken Wilkinson said: "At present, everything red, white and blue is sectarian and everything green, white and gold is culture."

The manifesto said an Orange Quarter in Belfast could attract tourists.

It said: "With the success of Belfast's Titanic, Cathedral and Queen's Quarters, the PUP believe an area of the city should be set aside to promote and educate people about the culture and history of Ulster's unionists."

The document said there were areas where the two main cultures within Northern Ireland could find common ground.

"While there are aspects to both the Ulster Scots and Irish cultures that people may find controversial, it is beneficial to all of us that our unique music, dance, sports, language and literature is supported," it said.

"We look forward to a time when unionists feel at ease taking part in St Patrick's Day celebrations and nationalists feel equally at home watching the Orangefest celebrations every July."

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