I would be happy to see Orange Order parade in Dublin - Leo Varadkar
The Taoiseach Leo Varadkar has said he would be happy to see an Orange Order parade in Dublin if they chose to do so.
Mr Varadkar referenced the fact that members of the Orange Order already parade in Co Donegal and said that he would be happy to see their cultural identity further expressed through a parade if they chose to have one.
"There would have been a lot of Orange lodges in Dublin and Wicklow at a time – and all over the country – so if we’re serious about respecting each other’s identities, each other’s values; if we’re serious about parity of esteem, it’s not the sort of thing you can pick and choose," he said, speaking to the News Letter.
When asked about Mr Varadkar's comments, Senior Orangeman the Reverend Mervyn Gibson said the Orange brethren who reside in the Republic already parade in Rossnowlagh, as the Taoiseach pointed out.
"They currently have no plans for a parade in Dublin," he said.
"There needs to be a purpose to any planned parade – such as a commemoration, celebration or parading to a church service. The Orange Institution does not simply parade for the sake of it."
Chris Thackaberry, an Orangeman who lives in Dublin and travels to Belfast to march on the Twelfth, told the paper that Orangeism is about more than just parades.
"As a Dublin Orangeman, I have no interest in parading in my city. Because of our county structure, Co Cavan and the wider border counties have made no move in that direction.
"Furthermore the focus for Dublin Orangemen is in highlighting the Orange heritage that can be found in the roots of Irish society through the arts and politics.”
"As custodians of Orange heritage in the city and the Republic we get no support from state bodies ... this week is heritage week – what better opportunity to have our hall opened for view and discussion?
"But no interest from the city council. If the Taoiseach and his government really wanted to involve and engage Orange heritage then they would engage it at ground level."
Belfast Telegraph Digital