11 February 2006

Orangeman takes parade battle to the Lords

Belfast Telegraph

By Michael McHugh
11 February 2006

A landmark legal bid to force the Parades Commission to give more information about its decisions is due to go before the House of Lords later this year.

The dispute between Dunloy Orangeman Davy Tweed and the commission over the banning of his local parade is set to feature in a hearing before the UK's highest court. The issue centres on whether the commission should disclose what submissions were made to commissioners.

The matter has been pursued through the Northern Ireland courts for some time and could set a precedent for future decisions.

Orangemen argue that there needs to be more transparency, but there are fears that releasing too much information could dissuade people from giving evidence.

A spokeswoman for the Orange Order said: "The commission has to say where it receives information from because some of the reasoning may be based on emotion. Somebody can go into the commission and say whatever they want and we can't challenge it."

Mr Tweed, who is a former Irish rugby international star, is worshipful master of Dunloy LOL 469.

The parade, banned by the commission, was from the local Orange Hall to the Presbyterian Church on Sunday October 29, 2000.

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