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3 July 1997 Edition

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NIO Minister was member of Orange Order

We force Ingram to reveal Orange links



An investigation by An Phoblacht into NIO Security Minister Adam Ingram's links with the Orange Order forced him to admit his past membership this week.

That Ingram, who was closely involved in a decision on the Drumcree Orange march,. is himself a former member of the Orange Order in Scotland has led to astonishment and concern among nationalists.

Earlier this week An Phoblacht contacted Ingram's office, asking if he had ever been a member of any of the Loyal Orders. By Wednesday he had been forced to admit, in a newspaper interview, that as a teenager he had been a member of the Orange Order. This was not revealed when he was appointed as an NIO Minister.

Ingram is the Labour MP for East Kilbride, a constituency south of Glasgow, and is from a family steeped in loyalism. Besides his past in the Orange Order he has been a lifelong supporter of Glasgow Rangers, a club which only recently admitted Catholics onto its staff. He is a season ticket holder.with the club.

Sinn Fein has expressed ``great concern'' that Ingram was a member of the Orange Order. Party Chair Mitchel McLaughlin said, ``this news begs the obvious questions: was the Secretary of State aware of Mr Ingram's past? And why didn't Mr Ingram disclose this fact when he was appointed? Mr Ingram must surely have known that transparency on this very sensitive matter was essential.''

Sinn Féin TD Caoimhghín O Caoláin has said he intends ``as a matter of urgency'' to raise the matter with Ray Burke, Fianna Fáil Minister for Foreign Affairs.
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