22 July 1999 Edition

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Bogside residents welcome dialogue with Apprentice Boys

By Róisin Cox

Sinn Féin and the Bogside Residents Group (BRG) have both welcomed indications that the Apprentice Boys might enter into direct dialogue with the BRG in an attempt to resolve the issue of the contentious Apprentice Boys' 12 August parade around Derry city centre.

Indications of a breakthrough came when Apprentice Boys Lieutenant Governor William Allen told BBC Radio Foyle that he believed members of the Apprentice Boys would sit down in the same room as members of the BRG and enter into direct dialogue about the 12 August parade. His statement comes after repeated refusals by the Apprentice Boys to engage in direct dialogue with the BRG since 1996, when negotiations failed to reach any positive solution.

But Allen's comments have been played down by Apprentice Boys spokesperson and DUP member William Hay. Hay said that no decision had been taken on the issue of discussions with residents.

In a case of the DUP tail wagging the Apprentice Boys' dog, Hay warned: ``There needs to be a number of ground rules set down before any meeting of minds on that particular point.''

Despite Hay's comments, Sinn Féin Councillor Cathal Crumley said he hopes that a process of discussion and dialogue involving the Bogside Residents Group ``will result in a mutually beneficial conclusion''.

An Phoblacht
44 Parnell Sq.
Dublin 1
Ireland
 

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