CARDIFF CROSS COMMUNITY TALKS ENTER SECOND DAY

Ulster Defence Association leader Jackie McDonald at Cardiff talks

Ulster Defence Association leader Jackie McDonald at Cardiff talks

TALKS aimed at resolving cross-community issues are into a second day in Cardiff.

The Welsh talks are being hosted by the PSNI who are picking up th £26,000 bill for flights and four-star hotel accommodation for some 34 delegates.

These include six senior policing figures, politicians and community representatives.

Members from the main political parties, Department of Justice and the Northern Ireland Policing Board are also taking part.

Loyalist community representatives taking part include Ulster Defence Association (UDA) leaders Jackie McDonald and John Bunting and Winston Irvine of the Progressive Unionist Party, the political representatives of the Ulster Volunteer Force (UVF).

Senior Irish republican Sean ‘Spike’ Murray is also taking part.

Other delegates include the former moderator of the Presbyterian church in Ireland, the Rev Norman Hamilton.

The discussions are being led by facilitators from the University of Ulster and Stanford University in California.

The PSNI said the talks are not about resolving parade or protest disputes.

It said they were an attempt to reduce tensions in areas where there

Friday’s agenda dealt with issues on relationships between the police and communities, forthcoming G8 protests and the pending marching season.

However, the Orange Order is not attending the talks.

Senior figures in the Belfast District have described the talks as a “waste of time”.

“If the disbandment of the Parades Commission is not on the agenda, what is the point of the talks,” said one senior Belfast Orangeman.

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