Statement by the Minister for Foreign Affairs, Mr. David Andrews TD on the publication of the Parades Bill
Statement by the Minister for Foreign Affairs, Mr. David Andrews TD on the publication of the Parades Bill, 17 October 1997
The publication of the Parades Bill by the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland, Dr. Mo Mowlam,
is an important development in efforts to defuse the tensions which surround the marching season.
I welcome the fact that it provides for the implementation of the recommendations of the North Review and, in particular, the provision of determining powers to the Parades Commission.
In the light of the strong concerns which have been expressed by the Government in recent weeks,
I very warmly welcome the clear exclusion of sporting events from the remit of the Parades Commission.
I note, at the same time, that the Secretary of State plans to take powers to extend this remit to cover other expressions of cultural identity. There is understandable concern in the nationalist community about the possible implications of extending the role of the Parades Commission in this manner.
I have conveyed the Government's views in this regard within the framework of the Anglo-Irish Intergovernmental Conference; we will be closely monitoring this issue.
It is in the interest of both communities in Northern Ireland that the Parades Commission succeed in
its task of reconciling the conflict of rights which surrounds the parades issues, and it is important
that no other issue should be allowed to deflect it from this role.Top