The Orange Order has no reason to snub SF

I read with some incredulity the statement by the Rev. Mervyn Gibson (BT 2/4/18) “We have 335 reasons not to meet Sinn Fein, insists Orange Order’”

His statement is incredulous for a number of reasons:

Firstly Mr Gibson is quoted as saying: “We would not be in a position, nor would we wish to, meet the president of Sinn Fein at this point,”. Yet he is on record of already meeting with senior members of Sinn Fein. What therefore is the difference of meeting the President of Sinn Fein?

Secondly, Mr Gibson has also met with representatives of ‘loyalist’ paramilitary organisations, who have also been responsible for the murder of some of the 335 Orangemen – the most notable occasion being 10 July 2014. ’The hurt caused to those families’ did not prevent such meetings taking place.

10 July 2014

Finally, the leadership of the Orange Institution, who met with the three Protestant Church leaders, on 2nd December 1998, agreed that, “We cannot refuse to talk to anyone made in the image of God,”.  Mr Gibson’s refusal to meet with the Sinn Fein President is a denial of that agreement.

Yours etc,

Brian Kennaway (Rev)

Author: “The Orange Order:A Tradition Betrayed”

This letter appeared in the Belfast Telegraph on 4th April 2018