Rule of law must be paramount in parading says Long

Alliance MP Naomi Long has said there is a need for all sides to abide by the rule of law following increased tensions around parading.

Naomi Long MP said: “Alliance recognises the freedom of assembly and arising from it, the right to have parades, and similarly the rights of others to protest against. But these rights cannot be absolute and in most societies there is a need for regulation. Given the continued divisions in society, this is even more necessary in Northern Ireland than elsewhere.

“People are concerned at the increased tensions around parades in Belfast. There is a requirement for people on all sides to avoid inflaming the situation, to take responsibility for those that are brought onto the streets, to avoid violence, and to fully abide by the determinations of the Parades Commission, even when there may be disagreement or anger at them. Renewed dialogue would be very welcome.

“This society must be anchored around the rule of law. Where the law is broken with impunity, we all stand to suffer.

“The Parades Commission is currently the body with the formal responsibility for making determinations on contentious parades and responding to past breaches or inappropriate behaviour.

“Dialogue is always the best alternative, but where no agreements are reached, there must remain a process whereby decisions will have to be taken on how disputed parades will be regulated.

“Discussions can be had on an alternative mechanism to the Parades Commission if that is what is required for greater confidence in decision-making, but ultimately the key question will not change, that is whether organisations and politicians will respect and abide by decisions with which they disagree.”


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *