With the failure to reach any agreement over the Drumcree Orange Order march, Alliance Assembly Member David Ford has stressed the need for the Rule of law to be observed and upheld.
David Ford said:
“Yet gain, a refusal to accept a realistic and honourable compromise on either side has led to a stand-off at Drumcree. Both sides must accept responsibility for this, and both sides must now do all in their power to discourage any lawlessness, in Portadown or elsewhere in Northern Ireland.
“It has been said that this march is an acid test for nationalists. I believe it is an acid test for the fair and impartial maintenance of law and order in Northern Ireland. For too long the issue of Drumcree has been decided on the basis of which side can threaten the greater violence. This year the decision has been taken, under the law, to block the march from the Garvaghy Road. That decision must now be upheld. Government must ensure that the police are given all the support they need to prove that no section of the Northern Ireland community is above or beyond the law.”