Belfast Telegraph

Wednesday 17 September 2014

Orangemen rebuff appeal from Gerry Adams for meeting

Gerry Adams
Orangemen On The Garvaghy Road, July 2000
Army Prepare For Drumcree July 2001

Gerry Adams has renewed his appeal for talks with the Orange Order — but the plea has already been rebuffed.

The Sinn Fein president revealed he has again written to the Orange institution, and other marching organisations, while criticising the Grand Orange Lodge decision to reject new plans for dealing with parades agreed between his party and the DUP as “deeply disappointing”.

Mr Adams also said it was “reprehensible” that senior Ulster Unionists who are Orange Order members had attempted to play politics over parading and score points off the DUP.

“I have written to the leaderships of the various marching orders in recent weeks asking to meet with them to receive a briefing on the issue of parades and to discuss with them the role and place of Orangeism in modern Irish society,” he said.

“I believe a dialogue between us would be very helpful in reducing tensions and creating a climate in which greater understanding could be encouraged.”

However, a short statement from the Orange Order said: “There are absolutely no plans to meet Mr Adams.”

The West Belfast MP made initial overtures to the Order last year, including an open letter in the Belfast Telegraph.

But Orange Grand Master Robert Saulters firmly rejected the proposals.

Mr Adams has, however, met leaders of Portadown district lodge who agreed to the meeting in an attempt to help resolve the Garvaghy Road impasse.

The Grand Lodge was yesterday preparing to write to First Minister Peter Robinson - but not to Deputy First Minister Martin McGuinness - following the vote against the new procedure, which would involve scrapping the present Parades Commission.

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