Orange Order leader to address Irish Senate for the first time

Drew Nelson, the Grand Secretary of the Grand Orange Lodge of Ireland, will address the Seanad at Leinster House at noon on Tuesday, July 3. It will be the first time a member of the Order will formally speak in front of senators at the Dáil, according to TheJournal.ie.

Seanad chairman Paddy Burke said it was "another step on the path to sustained peace and reconciliation."

“It also presents an opportunity for our people to learn and build understanding about the Orange Order,” he added.

Fianna Fáil leader Micheál Martin said, “This is an important moment for the country and it further strengthens the relationship and respect that continues to grow amongst all communities on our island.”

Nelson, speaking to the Belfast News Letter, said that such an invite would have been “unthinkable” up until a few years ago.

The invitation was extended to the Unionist leader earlier this month ahead of the upcoming centenary commemorations and program of events the government is planning and that will take place over the coming years.

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