The Orange Order has called on Sinn Finn’s Gerry Adams to acknowledge the murder of 332 Orangemen by the Provisional IRA in the Troubles.
The Order, in a current editorial in its newspaper The Orange Standard, said this was the largest institutional loss for a civilian organisation during the Troubles, and the pain and hurt will not simply go away.
“That loss must be addressed by Sinn Fein. At the time of the murders, Sinn Fein and the IRA were inextricably linked. While not all of the murders were committed by the IRA, the great majority were.
“Therefore in our view, Sinn Fein, as a political party, bears responsibility on this matter.
“Is it too much to ask that Sinn Fein can take the courageous step of expressing remorse to the Orange Institution for what happened during the Troubles?”
The editorial challenges Sinn Fein president Mr Adams to acknowledge, as a first step, the loss of the Orange Order’s murdered members.
“Sinn Fein needs to find the political maturity to mean what it says if it talks about remorse. We are not into cosmetic handshakes or words without depth.”
Last month, Mr Adams called for a meeting with the Orange Order and described the institution as “one of our national traditions” in Ireland.
“Orange is one of our country’s national colours,” he said at his party’s annual ard fheis in Wexford. “And Sinn Fein wants all our traditions freed up from sectarianism from any quarter.”