Orange Order could be granted Freedom of Lisburn
The Orange Order could be granted the Freedom of Lisburn after a DUP motion was passed by the city’s council last night — an honour that historically involves a public parade.
The proposal by Paul Givan passed with UUP support despite opposition from Sinn Fein and Alliance. It will go to a committee stage and be subject to equality screening.
The SDLP was not present for the vote.
Mr Givan said: “This motion is absolutely nothing to do with getting the right to march in Lisburn. This is about recognising an organisation which has over 600 halls in Northern Ireland, used extensively by the community.
"In Lisburn in particular, the community get excellent value out of the Orange Order - they are part of our society and we want to recognise them."
Sinn Fein councillor Arthur Carson said: "The anti-Catholic stance in terms of membership, the refusal to engage with residents groups over parades, expelling members who attend Catholic services - these are all big issues that the Orange Order need to take into consideration," he said.
"I appreciate that we're trying to move forward towards a shared society, but like other groups have done, the Orange Order need to reform before it can be recognised by members in this city."