“In the event of the failure of mediation, recourse to independent adjudications and procedures”

With Sinn Féin and the DUP now trading statements and counter-statements on the future of parades ahead of any “agreed outcomes” of that working group there are couple of pieces of information worth bringing ‘above the fold’. From a BBC report we learn

Meanwhile, it has emerged that two advisers have been appointed to the group. They are Presbyterian minister Mervyn Gibson, a prominent Orangeman, and Sean ‘Spike’ Murray a prominent republican. Both men sat on the Ashdown Review team on parades, whose final report has yet to be published.

And, according to a Guardian report

Leading Sinn Féin members encountered hostility to any concessions to unionists on Orange and loyalist parades at a meeting of Catholic residents groups in County Derry last week. The depth of anger has forced Sinn Féin to harden its position on contentious parades.

And a reminder of what the working group “has been tasked to take forward”

4. The working group has been tasked to take forward work in the following areas, building on the interim report of the Strategic
Review of Parading. This will inform the public consultation, as part of the schedule, as set out in the timetable below:
· Procedures relating to the receipt and notification of parades and assemblies; objections relating to them; necessary actions arising from the lodging of objections; and the facilitation of dialogue and mediation;
· In the event of the failure of mediation, recourse to independent adjudications and procedures;
· Adjudication arrangements comprising an appropriate mix of lay and legal expertise with sufficient resources to operate effectively and efficiently;
· A code of conduct which is legally enforceable;
· The right of citizens to freedom from all forms of harassment.

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  • John O’Connell

    The parading issue is one that has the potential to set the North ablaze and may in all likelihood one day cause the Rwandan or Bosnian situation we all fear at our cores.

    But there are those who march annually into areas where they’re not welcome, who assert pseudo-military supremacy in their actions and who would like to inform Nationalists of their perceived inferior position in this society. Historically they have suggested that Nationalists must put up with this abuse because they are the dominant force as they prove by mobilizing their numerous members.

    Yet they must remember that the Nationalist community no longer perceives itself to be unprotected from Unionist abuse and that there may be those in the Nationalist community who are aware that they may not lose a civil war. They will be looking for the United States to intervene in those dire circumstances as in Kosovo in order to prevent Catholic genocide and in the process to damage British interests, weakening the union. So there is no guarantee anymore that unionists can dominate through the subliminal intimidation of marching.

    Accepting that this is the case, what exactly is the point of marching? Strategically, it no longer makes any sense. Will the loyal orders, in a spirit of Christian humility, stand down their civilian armies and stop marching, particularly where they are not wanted? Will they leave behind the Old Testament supremacist attitudes and embrace New Testament equality? Will they cry “love thy enemy”, not “suppress thy neighbour”?

  • Panic, these ones like it up em.

    The Orange Parades are not in the control of Sinn Féin any more.

    Unionist parties dillied and dallyed for too long.

    People/Residents/Communities have found that they don’t miss the unwelcome Orange Order marches one bit and they have started a new tradition of not having them.

    Would the BNP be allowed to walk where they wished on the British Isle.

    The most definite answer is they would not (and that is definite) So a supremacist racist organistion is not allowed to walk where it pleases on the British Isle.

    Why in another part of the UK should a supremacist bigoted/sectarian organisation be allowed to walk where it pleases.

    Are the people that support these contentious marches selectively British or are they prepared to accept what is normal practice in other parts of the UK.

  • Pete Baker


    Stop trying to reduce everything down to biblical references.

    It is the opposite of rational argument.


    Look again at what Sinn Féin and the DUP agreed at Hillsborough.

    We believe that such a framework should reflect the key principles of:
    · Local people providing local solutions;
    · Respect for the rights of those who parade, and respect for the rights of those who live in areas through which they seek to parade. This includes the right for everyone to be free from sectarian harassment;
    · Recognising that at times there are competing rights;
    · Transparency, openness and fairness;
    · Independent decision making.

    And, importantly,

    · In the event of the failure of mediation, recourse to independent adjudications and procedures;

    Attempting to prescribe outcomes for those “local solutions”, and any independent adjudication in the event of the failure of mediation, is itself a breach of what has already been agreed.

  • lamhdearg

    civil war 20 or so miles from britain, wise up.

  • joeCanuck

    Rwanda? Bosnia?
    John, have you taken leave of whatever sense you ever had?

  • Munsterview

    Civil War indeed! John that is not even remotely on the agenda of any militant republican grouping on the Nationalist side who still consider themselves on a war footing. You may have information that I do not, if so can you refer me to any particular grouping on the Loyalist side with the weight to be taken seriously if were to advance such a proposition or to any significant section of their own community who would be prepared to implement such a process ?.

    I would have thought that whatever lessons were learned from the recent conflict that of the concept of mutually assured destruction and its consequences ( MAD ) is well appreciated by most, if not all groupings, on all sides all bar a few complete headcases who in such event would quickly find themselves facing the sharp end of things from up to a dozen different sources!

  • John O’Connell


    The reality is that no-one wants civil war but if things keep going the way that they’re going it becomes a possibility.

    The point I am makig in my post is that unionists can no longer rely on coming out smiling after an arduous civil war because they might win in the North and lose GB in the process.

    My comment is hypothetical. I am not predicting civil war. I am simply suggesting that the outcome may be different to the one that unionists have been predicting for a long time by marching in a sectarian fashion over the rights of their neighbours in the Nationalist community.


    Unionists must take a moral position. That is all I’m saying and the marching will stop. They believing that morality is found in the Old Testament, whereas I believe that it is found in the New Testament.

    Lamb dearg

    Yes, 20 miles is not far but it could still happen and if British soldiers flooded the North, with stories coming out of atrocities, then it may involve the USA, and Bosnia becomes Kosovo.


    You have to live here to feel the hate at times. These are different times from when you left, presumably around forty years ago.

  • joeCanuck

    I left 29 years ago, a few days after Bobby Sands’ funeral.
    I can assure you there was plenty of hate. One of the reasons I took my children away.

  • John O’Connell

    Well, Joe. Things have got gradually worse in the sense that violence is more of a currency now.

    Many Nationalists believe that it works to get results and many unionists have always believed in repression and violence to get their way.

    If I was to suggest a difference it would be that Nationalists have changed. They think that violence is morally acceptable in certain instances and, although this is quite understandable in some ways, in other ways it is not.

    For example, it has yet to be brought to its logical conclusion. If the oppressed rebel, is it justifiable for them to live with their former oppressors or must they commit a genocide one day?

    The unionists fear genocide. I say it is possible that one will happen and in the reasonably near future. The unionists march because of that fear and because they think that they can by doing so suppress the Catholics. That strategy has yet to be tested. Must it end in genocide too?

    I was right about Paisley and Adams facing humiliation under Gordon Brown’s reign, so there will be those who will listen to my wisdom now and reject contemporary rationality.

  • joeCanuck

    They think that violence is morally acceptable in certain instances

    John, Not any that I talk to on my biennial visits.

  • John O’Connell


    I beg to differ. I speak to Catholic Nationalists every day and some but not all tend to regard the IRA as having been a force for good in some indiscernible way.

    I remind you that there has never been a repentance of any sort from Sinn Fein or the IRA and thus a vote for Sinn Fein is effectively a vote that justifies violence and that vote is in effect a genocidal impulse.

    Like unionist votes it tends to be about monoculturalism and therefore it is a genocidal impulse.

    I would certainly say that a vote for either the DUP or Sinn Fein would be deemed “contracting for a genocide” in terms of their desire not to cooperate with each other but to seek supremacy.

    The question is really not if but when it happens, how will we deal with it?

  • joeCanuck

    a vote for Sinn Fein is effectively a vote that justifies violence

    I deny that, from my own personal experience.
    And stop trying to stir the pot with your talk of inevitable war and genocide. You sound as if you’re looking forward to it.
    I suspect actually that you are an impostor.

  • John O’Connell

    No. I’m the real McCoy. But I think that the topic has run its course.

  • Munsterview


    No, not quite!

    ‘ Turk, Jew or atheist ,
    may enter here
    but not a Papist ! ‘

    Bandon and its surrounds were once probably as anti native Irish and as totally sectarian as the worst on record from anywhere in these islands, in fact at that period and for a long, long time afterwards it remained a notorious byword for suppression and exclusion of the native population.

    Over two decades back, in that general area, I sat in a wake room of a cousin of Michael Collins who had been a committed, unquestioning catholic of the old school. My sister-in-law, a nun led yet another rosary for her late father, all his near neighbors there prayed the ‘ Our Father’ and ‘Glory be’ but the Hail Marys went unanswered by a third of the gathering in that room. The same with the ‘ Hail Holy Queen’ and then there were some other prayers that I had not heard before given by another woman there who was C of I. where all solemnly joined in.

    No great statement, no self conciseness, no nothing other than a similar gathering of neighbors marking and mourning a passing of one of their own, such as my late father-in-law himself and his family would have attended all his adult life. This was also from a community in which, some polemic writers and film makers would have us believe, relationships were soured for all time because of unsanctioned local civilian protestant killings carried out at the end of the war of Independence.

    Around the same period in the late eighties I attended a similar wake in West Tyrone where the local community was a mixed, polarized one, one but differences stayed outside the wake house door. For over four decades I have also been involved in cultural activities in addition to republican politics. Admittedly the ‘other side’ that I interfaced with were usually well removed from what the late Joe Cahill once described to me as ‘the usual kick the pope rabble’. Arguments and differences I have had aplenty but I have always have had the respect that I gave to those I discussed these matters with returned in kind.

    Were my personal experiences that unique ? Yes the possibility of civil war cannot be totally ruled out…….. if it is worked on hard enough that is. Other European examples even inside the last quarter of a century give a stark warning against complacency. However to return to my original point, I think that any overt move in that direction would be well identified, isolated and stamped out before it could gain the traction needed to be tolerated, never mind accepted in any significant way.

    Ending on this note, lets hope that this topic has indeed run it’s course in every since of the word !

  • Mr E Mann

    Criminy, let the Orange parades go where they want on the public streets. There are plenty of bored folk in the Republican Volunteers Commemorative Association, or whatever the ex-PIRA is now called. Why don’t they just take a walk to the temporarily disused Orange Halls and Presbyterian churches on the other side of town? Plenty of fresh air for all, and each side gets a nice change of scene for their equally peaceful gatherings.