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Top Orange Order officials in crunch talks

Senior Orange Order officers have been summoned to a special meeting to discuss possible proposals for a new Parades Commission.

The specially convened meeting will take place in Brownlow House in Lurgan this evening and up to 40 officers from the institution’s nine county lodges — including three in the Republic — are expected to attend.

The three DUP members of the Parades Working Group, Jeffrey Donaldson, Nelson McCausland and Stephen Moutray, who are negotiating with Sinn Fein to create a framework for a new parades adjudication process, will address delegates.

The Rev Mervyn Gibson, who was appointed as an adviser to the DUP panel, is also expected to attend the Brownlow House meeting.

The meeting comes just three days before a now crucial Grand Lodge meeting on Saturday during which the issue of parades blocked by residents’ groups is expected to be fiercely debated.

Mr Donaldson said: “It is an opportunity for us to brief the county officers who will be attending the meeting and to hear their views.”

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