INDEPENDENT LOYAL ORANGE INSTITUTION
Parades CommissionA Barrier to
Speaking at the Independent Imperial Grand Orange
Lodge at its Annual Meeting in Ballymoney on Saturday 2 January
1999 Rgt Wor Bro George Dawson said the following:
The Parades Commission was set up to solve
the parades issue and to create transparency in the decision making
process. It has signally failed! Every decision it makes drives
a greater wedge between the communities in Northern Ireland. Still
it clings to the belief that it is acting in the best interests
of community relations when the sad truth is that its legacy is
one of heightening divisions, creating conflict, breeding suspicion
and fomenting communal strife. It will take Northern Ireland years
to recover from the stupid and doctrinaire decisions of this thoroughly
The Commission is a factory of grievances.
It is structured to reward those who object and undermine the
organisers of parades. It creates a deep-seated sense of grievance,
which it cannot understand or empathise with, leaving no means
of effective appeal. Thus the conditions of conflict and consequent
communal tensions are created.
This was disaster waiting to happen. The
Parades Commission is not independent, it is not impartial and
it is unprofessional.
The lack of independence was revealed to
all interested parties when it bowed to Prime Ministerial pressure
in May of this year. The partiality is revealed by the composition
of the body and the declared hostility to parades of some of the
Commission members. (Mr David Hewitt in his open letter to Christians
The lack of professionalism is twofold.
Firstly its determinations are the production of a simple word
processor editing facility. They require only the skills of a
clerical assistant. Increasingly, the Commission is resorting
to the repetition of a few trite phrases with which it seeks to
destroy the civil and religious liberties of this land. When they
have been asked to elaborate further on their strange decisions
they refuse to do soso much for transparency in the decision
Secondly, it has no ability to recognise
those who have the potential to mediate with honour. The Commission
members are either so blinkered by their desire to destroy us,
or their own stupidity or their lack of negotiating ability, to
recognise potential solutions to a number of difficult situations.
Having made the situation worse than when
they came to it, the Parades Commission should immediately be
sacked for their incompetence.