Belfast Telegraph

The Twelfth: Keep it dignified or stay at home, warns Peter Robinson

By Claire Williamson

Peter Robinson has wished Northern Ireland an enjoyable Twelfth - but urged anyone who is not prepared to be peaceful to stay at home.

Around 50,000 Orangemen and band members are expected to attend 17 Twelfth demonstrations today, organised by the Grand Orange Lodge of Ireland.

Mr Robinson said: "The Twelfth is about celebration and I want people across Northern Ireland to enjoy the music and pageantry at their local Twelfth by having a fantastic day out with their family and friends.

"Everyone involved in the Twelfth demonstrations should behave in a responsible manner and at all times respect the rule of law."

As the bitter dispute over the contentious north Belfast parade remains unresolved, efforts have been undertaken to ensure community tensions that have erupted into rioting in previous years are channelled in a peaceful manner.

At the flashpoint in the unionist Woodvale area where the parade will be stoppedfrom progressing to the Crumlin Road, Orange leaders have pledged that participants will disperse promptly at the conclusion.

Mr Robinson said: "In the handful of contentious areas, I urge everyone to express their views in a dignified, peaceful and lawful manner. Whilst many within the community strongly disagree with determinations of the Parades Commission, it is vital that no section of the community allows itself to be drawn into a violent reaction or confrontation.

"If anyone feels violence is the way to express their frustration at the Parades Commission, I urge them not to tarnish the name of the loyal orders and respect the grand master's call to stay away."

Belfast Telegraph


From Belfast Telegraph