RICHARD HAASS INITIATIVE

In 2006 the Grand Orange Lodge of Ireland stated publicly that it would enter into dialogue with the Government and others as necessary to find an alternative to the Parades Commission. 

In 2007 the Institution played a full role in the Strategic Review of Parades. Chaired by Paddy Ashdown, an Interim Report was published, but a final report was never agreed, as the political context changed.

The issue of moving the parading agenda forward passed to the First Minister and Deputy First Minister following the signing of the Hillsborough Agreement in February 2010. The Institution played its full role in assisting the drafting of legislation regarding parades at this time.

We are presently working with our partners in the Unionist Forum to address the issue of parades and have always made it clear that the Orange Institution has been and is committed to finding a replacement to the Parades Commission, based on the principles of non-discrimination, equality, transparency and good administration.

Parading policy and legislation must be based on civil and religious liberties for all and special privileges for none.

The Grand Orange Lodge of Ireland will willingly and actively participate in the Haass Initiative with a view to replacing the Public Processions (Northern Ireland) Act 1998 with a better regulatory system.

We believe that it is vital that the bands community and the other Loyal Orders being the Independent Loyal Orange Institution, the Apprentice Boys of Derry, the Royal Black Institution, the Association of Loyal Orangewomen of Ireland, the Junior Orange Association, the Junior Orangewomen’s Association and the Royal Arch Purple Institution are involved in this process. All of them are also targeted by the present regulatory system.

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