Friday 7 September 2012

A Statement from the Grand Orange Lodge of Ireland

THE Grand Orange Lodge of Ireland notes the continuing public interest concerning the forthcoming Ulster Covenant centenary celebrations, which culminate in a major Loyal Order parade that will take place in Belfast on Saturday 29 September.

This landmark occasion allows a unique opportunity to commemorate one of the most momentous and cultural events in the history of these islands, and as we move into a period involving a number of significant centenaries it is essential that we celebrate our different cultures in an atmosphere of tolerance and mutual respect.

The Orange Institution is engaging in quiet conversations, which are taking place – away from the public gaze - to address issues that have arisen in relation to peaceful protests against the Parades Commission. We are genuinely committed in finding a just and equitable resolution to these matters.

The recent open letter from the Royal Black Institution has already served to defuse tensions and the Grand Orange Lodge fully supports the sentiments expressed.

Despite the best efforts of the discredited and unaccountable Parades Commission – to stifle our proud heritage, the Orange Institution prayerfully looks forward to a peaceful day for all of Northern Ireland, as the Unionist family celebrates this milestone in their history.