MLAs back a call for tolerance on parading


The Assembly passed a motion calling for respect, restraint and tolerance around parades and protests, on 1 July 2014.

Ulster Unionist Tom Elliott said there was "a section of people who will not accept an opposing culture, or indeed an opposing view".

He said the actions of republicans in the Ardoyne area of north Belfast "put a wedge between communities".

Mr Elliott said "nothing will ever be enough" for republicans.

He added that the the loyal orders had done what they could but "it isn't being reciprocated".

Chris Lyttle of Alliance said "respect, restraint and tolerance" should be the governing principles around parading.

The East Belfast MLA was proposing his party's amendment calling for "unambiguous adherence to the rule of law".

He said members of Mr Elliott's party had whipped-up tension "by telling international mediators to go home".

Mr Lyttle criticised politicians who had" talked cultural war and community tension into existence", and paid tribute to the police, who had acted as "shock absorbers" for failed political initiatives.

The DUP's William Humphrey said that the Parades Commission had "clearly rewarded violence" at Ardoyne.

"For republicans at Ardoyne there is no shared space, there is no shared future," he said.

Mr Humphrey criticised the "six minutes of intolerance" that he said prevented an Orange Order parade at Ardoyne on 12 July.

Daithi McKay of Sinn Fein said the real problem was the lack of political agreement over parades.

"It's like groundhog day," he said, noting that problems over parades had been "going on for hundreds of years".

Mr McKay said it was time "to resolve these issues once and for all".

The SDLP's Alex Attwood said his party would support both the motion and the Alliance amendment.

He called for all parties to accept the rulings of the Parades Commission.

Jim Allister of the Traditional Unionist Voice said "parading is above all an expression of culture".

He said opposition to parades was "part of that orchestrated cultural war that Sinn Fein is engaged in".

The motion and the Alliance amendment were passed on oral votes.

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