Select Committee on Northern Ireland Affairs Minutes of Evidence

Examination of Witnesses (Questions 218 - 219)




  218. I recall our exchange at the beginning of the last occasion on which you gave evidence. I do not know whether we owe you an apology for bringing you back so soon to give evidence before us, but we all remember with pleasure and admiration the evidence you gave us on the other inquiry. We did have a discussion as to what we should call you and I think we decided that you would be quite happy with whatever we called you. I will run through our ground rules again because you have Inspector McGarry with you and it is probably better for him to have heard what our ground rules are. They are that we will take questions in what we perceive to be a logical order. You should feel totally free to gloss any answer you wish to gloss on subsequent reflection, either here or in writing afterwards, and equally we will feel free, having read the transcript, if there are some questions which we feel we should have asked but did not, to come back to you afterwards in writing. Is there anything you would like to say to us beyond what is already provided to us?
  (Mr McQuillan) No, sir. The one thing I would say, and we have not really covered this in the memorandum of evidence, is that the issue of parades, as with the last time, has to be set in context. There is a whole series of factors that affect the nature of the problems. The relationship between communities is one factor in that and also the political state of the Province and the state of political tensions and the way in which some of the paramilitary groups will seek to manipulate that at any given time. Re-reading the memorandum, I do not think that I really brought that out. I think this is part of the fact that the parades problem encapsulates the problems of Northern Ireland in many ways.

  219. Thank you very much indeed for that. You are very welcome. I will, as I have on previous occasions, ask ground-clearing questions and then we will go wider with colleagues. Before the Parades Commission was set up the RUC was responsible for decisions on parades.

  (Mr McQuillan) That is correct, sir.

previous page contents next page

House of Commons home page Parliament home page House of Lords home page search page enquiries index

© Parliamentary copyright 2001
Prepared 19 July 2001