Belfast Telegraph

Thursday 30 July 2015

Drumcree parade true test of political progress

Published 20/11/2009 | 08:00

Ed Curran's column (November 16) details an imaginery scenario of the potential conflict between any future devolved policing and justice powers and the resolution of contentious parading.

There is no need to imagine.

On July 20, 2004 Gerry Adams demanded that the two key issues of policing and of contentious parades needed to be addressed if there was to be political progress.

Mr Adams continued that, "Nationalists want to see the parades issue resolved.

"Nationalists want to see the issue of policing resolved.

"This can only happen through open and honest dialogue which addresses these difficult issues."

The failure of Sinn Fein and the DUP at St Andrews to seriously address and resolve the issue of parading has remained as a cancer at the heart of the political process.

As the political horse-trading continues on the devolution of policing and justice, the DUP must make clear that it is interested not just in resolving the mechanisms or bodies for managing parades, but in directly negotiating with Sinn Fein over the resolution of the most contentious parades, so that a political settlement for parading is agreed before any further devolution takes place.

Here is a defining issue upon which we will be able to judge whether Peter Robinson's DUP is guilty of the charge of pushover unionism, or if any progress can be made for one parade in particular and that Portadown LOL No 1 are facilitated to complete their journey from Drumcree Parish Church - not just in 2010, but every year.


Ulster Unionist Party, Portadown

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