Saturday 24 February 2018

Crisis talks as tension grows over parades

Drumcree Parade members of the Orange Order at Portadown at the weekend
Drumcree Parade members of the Orange Order at Portadown at the weekend
Philip Ryan

Philip Ryan

TAOISEACH Enda Kenny is sending a delegation of senior officials to hold talks with British Prime Minister David Cameron over rising tensions in Northern Ireland ahead of unionist marches this weekend.

Mr Kenny said he was "very concerned" by events unfolding north of the Border after unionists withdrew from talks on the divisive parade season.

The walkout followed the Northern Ireland parade commission's decision to bar the Twelfth of July Orange Order parade from returning along part of the Crumlin Road in north Belfast.

Yesterday, Mr Kenny said: "This is a matter with very serious implications."

Mr Kenny spoke by telephone with Mr Cameron on Sunday about putting in place emergency plans in case of a return to violence in the North.

Senior officials from the Taoiseach's Department will travel to London this week to discuss these plans with Mr Cameron's advisers.

Fianna Fail leader Micheal Martin said Mr Kenny needed to "inject fresh momentum" into a process that was showing a "dangerous sense of drift".

Yesterday, the Northern Ireland Executive called for par-ades and protests to be lawful.

Irish Independent

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