UUP Politicians Escape Orange Order Punishment

It has been announced that two senior Ulster Unionist (UUP) politicians have escaped Orange Order punishment after attending the funeral of murdered catholic police officer Ronan Kerr.

Party leader Tom Elliott and Stormont Regional Development Minister Danny Kennedy, both long-time Orangemen, were subject to a complaint from an Orange lodge in Belfast for their decision to attend Requiem Mass for Constable Kerr who was shot by dissident republicans in April.

The lodge from Sandy Row in south Belfast claimed the two UUP men had put political expediency ahead of their principles.

Rules set out by the Orange Order state that members are not allowed to attend religious services that are not of Protestant faith.

But after disciplinary hearing the Order decided that they would not uphold the complaint.

The Sandy Row lodge has the opportunity to appeal against the Order’s decision- it is not however clear whether they will do so.

Constable Kerr, 25, was killed in a booby-trap car bomb outside his home in Omagh, Co Tyrone as he prepared to go to work.

For the funeral both sides of the community- Catholic and Protestant- united to condemn the murder.


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