Fianna Fail leader backs min­is­ter over pa­rade visit

Belfast Telegraph - - NEWS - BY LAURA LARKIN

FIANNA Fail leader Micheal Martin has dis­tanced him­self from a TD who crit­i­cised an Irish gov­ern­ment min­is­ter for at­tend­ing this year’s Or­ange Or­der pa­rade in Belfast.

Fin­gal TD Dar­ragh O’Brien de­scribed the at­ten­dance of Bren­dan Grif­fin at the pa­rade as “clue­less”.

He said the burn­ing of the Irish tri­colour and LGBT dis­crim­i­na­tion could not be ig­nored, say­ing he has never heard the Or­der con­demn this.

“You can’t sug­ar­coat it and pre­tend it’s a harm­less pa­rade,” Mr O’Brien said, adding that there are el­e­ments of the cel­e­bra­tion that are “vi­cious”.

“I don’t think any­one should shy away from that fact,” he said.

How­ever, Mr Martin said he dis­agreed. “Bren­dan Grif­fin, like any other in­di­vid­ual in the coun­try, is per­fectly en­ti­tled to at­tend Or­ange Or­der pa­rades,” he said.

De­spite vi­o­lence overnight, the Belfast pa­rade passed off with­out in­ci­dent.

Mr Grif­fin said his visit was an ef­fort to break down old bar­ri­ers.

“A small mi­nor­ity en­gage in that sort of be­hav­iour and it is ap­pallingly wrong,” he said, adding that “it isn’t a fea­ture of what hap­pens at the pa­rade and it’s not some­thing that the Or­ange Or­der con­done”.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from UK

© PressReader. All rights reserved.