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Statement by the Ulster Unionist Party Assembly Members on the Parades Commission's Decision on Drumcree 1998

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Text: Ulster Unionist Assembly Party ... Page Compiled: Fionnuala McKenna
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Statement by the Ulster Unionist Assembly Party on Drumcree
1 July 1998

The members of the Ulster Unionist Stormont Assembly Party pledge their full support to the internationally recognised right of citizens to assemble and process in an orderly and peaceful manner. In particular, it supports the right of Portadown District Orangemen to walk the Queen's Highway without let or hindrance this Sunday, July 5th 1998.

We acknowledge that the Church Service and the Procession is an important part of the culture identity and ethos of the Ulster British people. Respect for such rights is central to the agreement we are here to implement.

We believe that the determination arrived at by the Parades Commission, in respect of the Drumcree Parade is wrong in that it is a surrender to the threat by republican elements on the Garvaghy Road to block the road by force. We call on the Republican Movement to make it clear that such threats of force which are a part of their terrorist campaign will, like that campaign, end for good. We call on people on the Garvaghy Road to do their bit for peace by respecting the right to freedom of movement mindful of the enormous contribution to peace and stability made by the Orange Order last year in voluntarily rerouting Parades. We call upon Nationalist Representatives and Church and Community Leaders to reciprocate and show similar generosity of spirit at this crucial time.

We would appeal to all citizens to act in a peaceful manner at all times, and we are confident that decent law-abiding people will act in a constructive and positive way in the coming days.

The Ulster Unionist Assembly Party will continue to do everything in its power to defuse this potentially dangerous situation and calls upon all other groups and individuals to do likewise. At this important time in the history of our beloved Province we trust and pray that our efforts will be successful.

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