Belfast Telegraph

Wednesday 3 September 2014

Remember, there are two sides to every story

ALF McCreary (Saturday Review, March 15) refers to members of bands attached to loyal orders' parades deliberately insulting parishioners of St Patrick's Church on Donegall Street in Belfast.

While no one should condone deliberate insults to any community, his column gratuitously made reference without expanding on the situation.

We did not read of how those processing have been deliberately provoked by some protesters. Members of the institution and bandsmen have been spat upon and attacked, verbally and physically, exacerbating the situation. There was no mention of that.

The column did not hint at any of this wider background, preferring simply to take a swipe at the Orange Order. While commentators are entitled to their opinions, they are also entitled to expect criticism when those opinions are not shared.

It is somewhat trite to ask what St Patrick would make of a church divided between Protestant and Roman Catholic. Obviously, the reason there is division is because there are different theological standpoints, which we are all, whether Protestant or Roman Catholic, entitled to hold.

Is Mr McCreary really suggesting that there are no differences, or that they should be ignored?

The real issue is what movement can be made towards greater respect and mutual understanding, which accepts and acknowledges our differences.

DR DAVID HUME

Director of services, Grand Orange Lodge of Ireland

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