The Alliance Party Leader, David Ford, has reacted with anger to the comments of the leadership of the Orange Order in which they refused to accept the fact that their members were involved in the violence following the Whiterock Parade, despite clear video evidence to the contrary. Furthermore, Mr Ford said that the assertion of Dawson Bailie that he would do nothing differently, in the full knowledge of the outcome, was ‘utterly deplorable’.
Mr Ford said, “The statement made by the so-called leadership of the Orange Order is utterly incredible and thoroughly sickening. To state, in the face of video evidence showing people removing collarettes and then throwing missiles at the police, people wearing collarettes engaging in hand to hand fighting and wielding ceremonial swords at officers, that Orangemen were not involved in the violence shows the Order’s leadership to be in state of complete denial and total moral bankruptcy.
“Their continued insistence that the Police and the Parades Commission are responsible for the violence beggars belief and is deeply offensive to the vast majority of the community, who are sick and tired of weasel words and excuses from people who refuse to face up fully to their responsibilities for the weekend’s violence.
“Mr Bailie’s comments that he would do nothing differently, even with the value of hindsight and in the full knowledge of the mayhem and destruction which the weekend’s protest caused and the serious threat to life and damage to society posed by the violence, is utterly deplorable.
“People have tried to apportion blame for the violence to poverty and deprivation. We must be clear — the poverty which led to this violence is
not of material possessions, but a poverty of leadership and of integrity which this formal response of the Orange Order leadership typifies.”