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Parade leaders only thinking of themselves

TEN years ago, as Lord Mayor of Belfast, I convened several meetings of the three parading bodies, which were causing difficulties.

Considerable progress was made that year. We agreed that parades were to be celebratory, welcoming, law-abiding and not displays of drunken sectarianism.

For a few years, there was steady improvement. However, that improvement has not continued.

The Pride parade has consistently improved, the St Patrick's Day parade is being re-energised, but the OrangeFest idea seems to have disappeared.

It is time the organisers did what is right for the whole of Belfast – not just themselves.

ALDERMAN TOM EKIN (Alliance)

Belfast City Council

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