Friday, May 05, 2006


Walk away, McKay!

The OO's true colours Pictured left: Orangeman and Shankill Butcher Eddie McIlwaine, carrying a bannerette with a picture of UVF leader Brian Robinson, accompanies Shankill Protestant Boys colour party with UVF flags on the Springfield Road 28th June 2003 in open defiance of the Parades Commission ruling.

Hey, here's another scandal involving the Orange Order!

DUP member Don McKay, who was first appointed to the Parades Commission by British Secretary of State Peter Hain last November, is facing calls for his resignation after he told a public meeting he was fighting for the Orange cause "inside the fence".

Mr McKay, who is supposed to be independent in outlook, also urged Orangemen who attended a public meeting of the Commission in Portadown "not to give in":

"From a unionist perspective, we have got to have faith in what we believe in and take the battle forward."

Yeah he sounds really independent, don't you think?

Chairman of the Parades Commission Roger Poole was given the hard task of trying to defend Mr McKay's silly comments last night on Hearts and Minds, which you can see for yourself here, and his defence centred around the idea that DUP man McKay just got a bit carried away. Yes according to Mr Poole:

"I think what Don was saying was very clear, to me at any rate if not to the audience, and that is that he was bringing his experience as an orangeman to the Commission."

Eh? Was that "very clear" to you from Mr McKay's comments above? It sure as hell wasn't to me. "Take the battle forward" McKay said. Blimey he sure takes his "experience" very seriously doesn't he?

Sinn Féin have lashed out at Mr Poole for 'defending the indefensible' and Sinn Féin's John O'Dowd wants McKay's resignation:

"Nationalists had little or no faith in this man in the past but this latest statement makes his position totally untenable."

This view was echoed by the SDLP's Dolores Kelly who demanded Mr McKay's immediate removal:

"Not only is this man guilty of slight of hand in his application to the commission, he is also not independent or impartial.

"He is committed to a partisan orange agenda.

"He shouldn't have been appointed to the Parades Commission. Now he must resign from it."

Garvaghy Road Residents Coalition spokesman Breandan MacCionnaith said Mr McKay could no longer be viewed as a credible commissioner:

"Don McKay's comments further demonstrate his unsuitability and complete lack of impartiality."

Garvaghy Road residents are currently in the midst of a legal challenge against the NIO's appointments procedures to the Commission. They claim that the appointments of Mr McKay and fellow Portadown orangeman David Burrows were government concessions to the DUP.

I have to agree with the nationalists. Mr McKay's position is untenable. His credibility has been left in tatters and it's unacceptable for the Orange Order to have been told they have someone "inside the fence".

What happened to impartiality? Perhaps Roger Poole knows. Then again, I doubt he does.

Mr McKay needs to leave the Parades Commision immediately. He can take his damn "experience" with him as well.


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