18 May 2006 Edition

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Parades commission in turmoil

More controversy has surrounded the appointment of two Orangemen to the Six County Parades Commiss-ion as a legal challenge to the move continued this week.

It emerged on Monday 15 May that former Portadown Orange Lodge Grand Master, David Burrows, used former president of the Methodist Church of Ireland, Jim Rea, as a referee without his knowledge. Rea said that if he had been asked by Burrows to act as a referee he would have refused because it could damage his relationship with the Garvaghy Residents Association. Rea also questioned why the Northern Ireland Office never contacted him to check out the reference.

The latest revelation follows the storm over DUP councillor, Don MacKay, who cited SDLP assembly member, Dolores Kelly, on his application form without her permission.

Meanwhile, Garvaghy Road resident, Joe Duffy, began a legal challenge on Friday 12 May to the appointment of Burrows and MacKay citing the clear conflict of interest which is involved.

He has had a partial victory with the resignation of MacKay from the Commission as An Phoblacht goes to press.Sinn Féin MLA John O'Dowd has said the Parades Commision is no place for an orange man and called for the resignation of Burrows also.

No representatives of nationalist residents groups have, to date, been appointed to the Commission.

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