Belfast Telegraph

New body has less of grassroots feel to it

By Liam Clarke

This Parades Commission has a more technocratic and less grassroots feel to it than its predecessors.

It is shy of publicity; the last news item on its website records its appointment. Political experience is arguably scarce.

The commissioners include two solicitors (Sarah Havlin and Frances McCartney, who is also a part time judge), a finance and health professional (Colin Kennedy) and a mediator with strong administrative experience (Paul Hutchinson).

Anne Henderson, who chairs the body and gives it direction, is an accountant.

Like the other members, she has a lot of experience on quangos and in public sector appointments.

She is a non-executive director of the SS Nomadic Trading Company, a not-for-profit entity in Belfast.

A former vice chair of the Northern Ireland Housing Executive, she has been on the board of the International Fund for Ireland and is on the audit committee of Queen's University.

Previous Parades Commissions included people who brought more understanding of the of the parading organisations and residents' groups.

The last commission, for instance, included the Rev Brian Kennaway, a former Orange Order chaplain and historian for the institution, and Robin Percival, of the Bogside Residents Group.

Belfast Telegraph


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