'Low confidence' in parades watchdog

Published Monday, 30 June 2014
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First Minister Peter Robinson has said there is low confidence in the Parades Commission over their decision on the Ardoyne Twelfth of July parade, which is expected in the next few days.

His comments come as parties prepare for a new round of talks at Stormont on Wednesday.

The DUP leader said: "Confidence is low in terms of what the outcome might be. And certainly the feedback from the street is very worrying.

"As soon as you start telling a community that we give into violence then you just ask other people in the community to say: 'Well, if violence is what decisions are based on then we can have more violence' and other people can give violence.

"That is completely the wrong message to be sending out."

Deputy First Minister Martin McGuinness said: "At the minute, what we are hearing is very worrying in terms of the meetings that are taking place between the combined Unionists and the Parades Commission.

"It appears not just to the Parades Commission - but in other meetings - threats are being issued about what will happen if the Parades Commission decision doesn't go the way they want it. So I think threats are not the way to go forward."

This could be one of those weeks that sets a test for politics and policing.

Brian Rowan in his blog: Talking and events

Meanwhile UTV Political Editor Ken Reid said that there was no great expectations about forthcoming talks on flags, parades and the past.

He said that they would be facilitated by Paul Sweeney, a permanent secretary at the Department of Education.

The talks, which will be held at Parliament Buildings, will last three days before breaking for the weekend and recommencing next Tuesday.

He added: "We will just have to see how it goes.

"The only thing that could change it would be some kind of resolution on the Ardoyne situation.

"They will keep working on it - but I don't think there will be any resolution before 12 July and we already know that the DUP and the Ulster Unionists won't talk about or agree anything on the past until the Hallett Report is issued and that's not until 17 July."

© UTV News
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15 Comments
Martin in Carrick wrote (167 days ago):
It should be obvious to everyone that Peter Robinson is not the person to move Northern Ireland forward, I am a unionist and proud of it, but Mr Robinson comes across to me as a bigot who has no real interest in sharing Northern Ireland with anyone who is not from the Protestant community. As for the PC they are in a no win situation they are dammed if they do and dammed if they don't, at the end of the day the two communities need to compromise, no one is going to get everything their own way and it's time they realised that.
brendan in belfast wrote (167 days ago):
can we all be wrong pete
Johno in Portadown wrote (168 days ago):
What a plonker Peter Robinson is, does he really think his comment is helpful. God help us with vision like his for any community living up here.
Dorothy in Kansas wrote (168 days ago):
Peter hasn't gone away, you know!
Neil in Armagh wrote (168 days ago):
Seriously ? What a statement for our 1st Minister to come out with! May as well have just handed them all a few crates of petrol bombs and stood there with the match lit you big eejit!
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