04 July 2014

Orange Order meets Unionist parties

Senior members of the Grand Orange Lodge of Ireland and County Grand Orange Lodges throughout the Province met today (FRI) with representatives of the main Unionist parties.

The meeting was held at Grand Lodge headquarters in east Belfast.

Among the attendees was the Grand Master of the Grand Orange Lodge of Ireland, Edward Stevenson; Grand Master of the County Grand Orange Lodge of Belfast, George Chittick; DUP leader Peter Robinson; Ulster Unionist leader Mike Nesbitt; and representatives of the TUV, PUP and UPRG (west Belfast).

Grand Master Edward Stevenson said afterwards:

“We had a productive meeting with our Unionist political representatives, where we as an Institution offered our full support for their joint statement and unity of purpose following the Parades Commission’s nonsensical decision preventing Ligoniel Orangemen from once again completing their Twelfth parade. 
“Grand Lodge is also mindful at this time of restrictions on other Orange parades throughout the Province. 
“We will continue purposeful dialogue within the Orange family and wider pro-Union community over the coming days; and will outline our response in due course. 
“Although there is much anger at the latest restriction on our legitimate cultural expression and traditions; I would once again reiterate the Institution’s call for any protest to be lawful and peaceful. Violence will not help our cause, and only play into the hands of our enemies.”