30 May 2006

Hain challenges march body ruling

The government is to appeal against a High Court ruling that its appointment of two members of the Orange Order to the Parades Commission was unlawful.

Earlier in May, a judge said NI Secretary Peter Hain failed to ensure the commission make-up represented both sides of the community.

The court said the appointment of David Burrows and Don MacKay did not ensure the body represented both communities.

Mr Hain's appeal is due to be heard on Tuesday.

On 19 May, the High Court ruled that the appointments did not ensure membership of the body represented both sides of the community.

The case was brought to court by Joe Duffy, a resident of the nationalist Garvaghy Road in Portadown, who sought to overturn the appointment of Mr Burrows and Mr MacKay.

Orange Order

Both Mr Burrows and Mr MacKay were members of the Portadown Lodge of the Orange Order which has been at the centre of the decade-long dispute surrounding what has become known as the Drumcree parade.

Mr MacKay resigned from the commission earlier this month after it emerged he had listed DUP MP David Simpson and SDLP assembly member Dolores Kelly as referees on his application form without asking their permission.

The Parades Commission was set up by the government in 1997 to make decisions on whether controversial parades should be restricted.

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