I hope Haass can finally resolve Drumcree dispute
I FULLY support the request from Portadown District LOL No1 to be included in the upcoming talks headed up by Richard Haass, but in all honesty I feel their campaign for justice should go further.
The leaders and membership of Portadown District LOL No1 have been let down time and time again by those in authority.
No-one has done more to resolve this issue than the leadership of Orangeism in Portadown. They have offered on numerous occasions to engage in face-to-face dialogue with those who are opposed to their return parade from Drumcree Parish Church.
This has dragged on for so long that there now needs to be an independent panel set up to investigate why this dispute has not been resolved and why the Parades Commission has failed at every opportunity to facilitate talks.
Just like other groups right across Northern Ireland, Portadown District LOL No1 also requires justice.
While their request to be involved in the Haass talks is wholly justified, I also think Mr Haass should chair an investigatory panel which should be made up of respected people who have a proven track record in finding the truth. Hopefully, they will uncover why this issue has been allowed to fester for so many years.
This dispute is a blight on Portadown and the people who have endured this for so many years need to see a just and fair resolution.
CLLR COLIN McCUSKER (UUP)
Deputy Mayor of Craigavon