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20 August 1998 Edition

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Orange support for Assembly

The Orange Order released a series of papers last week aimed at ``clearing up'' their position on the Northern Ireland Assembly.

In the papers the Order confirms that they will take part in the civic forum attached to the Assembly and denies that the Drumcree stand-off was designed to wreck it. The Order also claimed that they recognised the ``democratic decision taken at the referendum'' and again denied any responsibility for the murder of the Quinn children.

These papers were issued just days after an editorial in the Church of Ireland Gazette warning that the church would split if no agreement was reached on the Orange march at Drumcree. The piece went on to state that there had been an unwritten agreement between the church and the Order that allowed the church ``to pursue bridge building and ecumenical activities provided that they were not too successful''.

However such were ``the feelings of hurt, anger and distress'' of members in the south after this year's events at Drumcree that the church needed a new relationship with the Order. The editorial went on to state that the General Synod next year would expect ``searching recommendations'' on the matter. It concluded saying that it was time to talk ``about the nature and character of Orange services and about the flying of flags on church buildings''.

However, despite the Order's new propaganda offence, the nightly intimidation of Garvaghy road residents has continued with hundreds of loyalists mounting protests at both ends of the thoroughfare.

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An Phoblacht
44 Parnell Sq.
Dublin 1
Ireland
 

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