29/06/2005

Orange Order and nationalist residents agree Derry march

Around 3,000 Orangemen are to march on the nationalist west bank of Londonderry on the 12th July following an “historic” agreement between the Orange Order and Bogside Residents Group.

The Chamber of Commerce, which brokered the meetings between the Order and local residents, said the decision had now ensured that celebrations by all Loyal Orders could take place in the city in "an atmosphere of tolerance and understanding".

In a statement, the City of Londonderry Grand Orange Lodge said they had been working hard for several years to ensure a peaceful and harmonious ‘Twelfth’ and that they were now "looking forward to a dignified parade in a city rich with culture and diversity".

Secretary of State, Peter Hain welcomed the news saying it showed what can be achieved through constructive dialogue.

“There is a considerable debt of gratitude owed, not just in Derry but in the wider community, to all those who have worked to hard to bring this about,” he said.

The Parades Commission also welcomed the news saying that a constructive approach meant an deal had been reached without their involvement and that all groups associated with parades should learn from this example.

(MB/SP)

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