Wednesday, February 22, 2006


Ahern wants peaceful 'Love Ulster' parade

Hopefully common sense prevails, MinisterThe Irish Government hopes this weekend’s "Love Ulster" parade will pass off peacefully, Foreign Affairs Minister Dermot Ahern said today.

Unionist politicians, Orangemen, loyalist bands and victims of IRA violence plan to march through Dublin city centre on Saturday.

Before meeting Parades Commission chairman Roger Poole in Dublin today, Mr Ahern said:

"The Irish Government doesn’t have a particular attitude towards the parade.

"It’s a free country. We hope it passes off peacefully like many of the parades in Northern Ireland and doesn’t lead to difficulties for the public."

Mr Ahern also expressed the Government’s general support for the work of the Parades Commission and stressed that issues surrounding all contentious parades can be resolved through patient dialogue.

"It is a key priority of the Government in making progress towards a stable future in Northern Ireland," he added.

"Contentious parades can have a very damaging effect on tourism, the economy and people’s lives in general. It is important that everybody, including political leaders, acts responsibly and makes every effort to reduce tensions."

Here comes love!

Mr Ahern remarked that the vast majority of uncontested parades in Ireland's north pass off peacefully, like in Derry, which he said offers a very positive example.

Obviously I agree with the Minister and I hope that the parade does pass off peacefully, but I'm not convinced that all those involved in the "Love Ulster" parade share his view. I think alot of them would much prefer news stories about how the Republic is intolerant, anti-British blah, blah, blah.

I'm not sure what annoys me more, those from 'Love Ulster' coming down to Dublin to cause trouble or the idiots who plan a counter-protest which just gives them exactly what they want!

As for the parade itself, I stated in the past that I had no intention of watching it but I'm starting to wonder if I should check it out after all, especially since I've blogged about it long enough these last few months.

What do you all think? And is there anybody here planning to see it?


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