Orange Order & Parades Commission

Dear Sir,

I read with interest the article by Michael McHugh (BT 4/5/04) concerning the Orange Orders relationship with the Parades Commission.

Unless I am mistaken and in spite of the statements of the ‘spokeswoman’, your paper has, in recent years, carried numerous stories about Orange Lodges “engaging in direct dialogue” with the Parades Commission.

Furthermore, everyone is aware that there is regular contact between the Orange Order and the Parades Commission, as well as with representatives of paramilitary organisations.

The fact that the Minister concerned, Mr Pearson, was unaware of this would suggest that not only is the Parades Commission an “unelected quango” but an independent unelected quango.  

If the principle of not dealing with unelected quangos is adhered to then there would be no contact with a number of agencies, including Education Boards, Health Boards and the Board of Ulster-Scots!

Yours sincerely,


Rev. Brian Kennaway

Former Convener,

Education Committee, GOLI.