Orange Order won’t invite Mid Ulster MLA Martin McGuinness to Twelfth celebrations

Officers and Past Members at the election of the New Imperial Grand master of the Independent Loyal Orange Institution
Officers and Past Members at the election of the New Imperial Grand master of the Independent Loyal Orange Institution

The Orange Order has said it will not be inviting Mid Ulster MLA Martin McGuinness to Twelfth celebrations after the Deputy First Minister said he would seriously consider it if they “big enough” to reach out to him.

The First Minister was responding to questions from a reporter when he made the remarks.

Deputy First Minister Martin McGuinness, MLA for Mid Ulster

Deputy First Minister Martin McGuinness, MLA for Mid Ulster

But the Orange Order have since dismissed any such gesture because of the “333 Brethren murdered during the Troubles” for whom they say, they have had no apology.

A statement from the Order said: “Many of our murdered Brethren were serving or retired members of the Crown Forces. Sinn Féin have never apologised, nor shown genuine remorse, for the murder of the Crown forces.

“To offer an invitation to Martin McGuinness would insult their memory and bring further hurt and distress to many families.”

“The Orange Institution is actively involved in bridge building at many levels, but there are some things that as an organisation and as a Unionist community are at present beyond the pale.”

Mr McGuinness said he understands what the occasion means to the unionist commmunity, adding that “Derry is peaceful, we never have any concerns about parades of any description denigrating into violence or ignorance or discourtesy”.

“People conduct themselves very well indeed and I take great pride in that.

“I have consistently paid tribute to the work not just of local residents but of the Apprentice Boys who I do think by their presence in the city enrich our lives,” he added.