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4 May 2000 Edition

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Orange Order cancels Dublin march

The Dublin and Wicklow Lodge of the Orange Order has abandoned plans to hold an Orange march in Dublin city centre later this month, making bitter assertions that members had been intimidated.

March organiser Ian Cox claimed that they had been ``hung out to dry'', complaining that the Gardaí were the only people to ``support us in any way''.

He said that ``the purpose and value of the parade as a symbol of friendship and tolerance had been lost in political posturing that can only be described as offensive''.

Sinn Féin Councillor Christy Burke, reacting to the news, reasserted Sinn Féin's position that the party was not opposed to the Orange ceremony in principle or to Orange marches where they were not opposed by the local community but that it could not be viewed in isolation.

Dublin Corporation last month unanimously supported a Sinn Féin motion recognising the Order's right to march in Dublin but calling on the Loyal Orders to lift the siege of the Garvaghy Road and enter into real negotiations to break the impasse there.

Dublin's Labour Lord Mayor Mary Freehill initially welcomed the Orange march but after gauging reaction from her party colleagues, fellow councillors, and the public, claimed that she had never invited the Order and said that ``it was never my intention to be next or near the Orange Order march''.

City councillors from across the party political divide drew attention at that meeting to unease among Dubliners because of the Order's sectarian activities in the Six Counties.

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An Phoblacht
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