5 JUNE 2006
STATEMENT ON FIRST MEETING BETWEEN
THE CATHOLIC PRIMATE, ARCHBISHOP SEÁN BRADY
and the leaders of
THE ORANGE ORDER, THE INDEPENDENT ORANGE ORDER AND THE
ROYAL BLACK PERCEPTORY
Speaking after the first ever meeting between the Primate of the Catholic Church in
Ireland and the leaders of the Loyal Orders, which took place today at the Archbishop’s
residence in Armagh, Archbishop Brady said:
‘I was happy to respond to the request from the leaders of the Loyal Orders for a meeting.
Coming into a time when tensions often rise in Northern Ireland the symbolism of such a
meeting is a powerful one. In a divided society the temptation is always to remain among
one’s own people. The desire of the leadership of the Loyal Orders to come to Armagh today
represents their willingness to go beyond the barriers of history. It represents a desire
to explain the customs, principles and values of their organisations to leaders in the
Catholic community. This is to be greatly welcomed.
The openness that this gesture and this meeting represents is an important first step.
People on both sides of our society, in local communities, need to be creative and generous
in finding ways of reaching across the divide and reciprocating gestures of friendship and
efforts at fostering understanding. It is ultimately at this local level that contentious
issues will be resolved.’
PLEASE NOTE THAT NO INTERVIEWS WILL BE GIVEN ON THIS MATTER
Notes to Editors:
*At the meeting the Catholic Church was represented by Archbishop Seán Brady, Primate
of All Ireland and Archbishop of Armagh, Bishop John McAreavey, Bishop of Dromore, Mr
Harry Goodman from the Northern Ireland Catholic Council on Social Affairs and by Fr
*The delegation from the Loyal Orders consisted of Robert Saulters and Drew Nelson of
the Grand Orange Lodge of Ireland, William Logan, William Scott and Rev. Tom Greer of
the Royal Black Institution, and George Dawson MLA and Mervyn Storey MLA of the
Independent Orange Institution.
Martin Long Director of Communications (086 172 7678)
Brenda Drumm Communications Officer (087 233 7797)