THE Parades Commission has welcomed the wide range of views expressed during its series of engagement evenings held throughout February and March.
The events were attended by the general public and political representatives and Commissioners engaged with their views on parading and the Parades Commission’s work.
Parades Commission Chairman Peter Osborne said: “In embarking upon its term of office this Commission was determined to engage directly with the public. Over the last 24 months we have organised 17 public meetings, with over 100 people attending the latest series. We have also participated in a number of other public events. This reflects the importance we attach to this work.”
“We are very grateful to those who attended these events and participated in an open and committed way. Parading is a subject that engenders strong feeling amongst communities and whilst some of the discussions may have been robust, we felt those who participated did so on the basis of forthright and honest views.”
“Outside the context of individual parades, this public engagement broadens our understanding of the views and perceptions within the wider community. In reaching fair and balanced decisions on the small number of contentious parades, we are able to draw on this understanding and ensure the views of the general public are reflected in our work.”
Mr. Osborne said the end of this series of meetings would not mean the end of the Commissions engagement: “The Commission remains committed to local outreach, and we are always happy to make ourselves available should appropriate opportunities arise.”