“They are conversations – they are not negotiations, they are not mediation…”

With the draconian approach of the elected representatives in Sinn Féin and the DUP abandoned, and long-forgotten, the extant Parades Commission have appointed a trio of intermediaries to have ‘conversations’ with unidentified others in the Ardoyne area of north Belfast.  From the BBC report

Lord Alderdice is involved in the initiative, along with the Holy Cross priest Father Gary Donegan and the former Presbyterian Moderator, the Reverend Norman Hamilton.

He admits there is no guarantee of success.

Dr Hamilton said: “The Parades Commission have asked us to have some conversations with local community leaders to see if we can reach some sort of accord, particularly around the parading issues in the area.

“They are conversations – they are not negotiations, they are not mediation. They are conversations to see if an accord can be reached.”

The group has already started work, and the dialogue is expected to intensify the closer it gets to the start of the marching season.