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Orange Order rejects DUP and Sinn Fein parade plan

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The DUP and Sinn Fein plans presented to the Parades Commission have been rejected by the Orange Order.

At a special meeting at the Grand Orange Lodge, Tamnamore Orange Hall, County Tyrone the new blueprint for to defuse flashpoint parades was rejected. The results of the vote were 37 votes to 32.

In a statement released on Wednesday the Orange Order said that the blueprint could not be accepted “in its present form.”

A source from within the Orange Order said that there was only 80 members present at the meeting. Some of the members felt that there were too many absent. Ordinarily there are up to 100 members at meetings and up to 180 members are entitled to turn up. A number of senior members were absent.

The Ulster Unionist MLA said “I hope that those for whom this is a rebuff will not now attempt to play politics. The Grand Lodge has given its verdict and what happens to this legislation now is a matter for the Assembly.”

The main points of the legislation:

Residents have the right “to live free from sectarian harassment” and it is illegal to block a parade.
New board of 11 people to take over from Parades Commission.
Marchers and protesters are expected to partake in dialogue.
Justifiable reason for their course of action will have to be show by those applying for a parade or protest.
 

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