Editorial - Maintaining the culture of respect

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The fact that a parade passing off peacefully still makes headlines in other parts of the North while scarcely raising an eyebrow here speaks volumes for community relations in the city.

Over the last decade, thanks to direct talks and sensible thinking, Derry has got used to entirely peaceful marching seasons with parades passing off not just peacefully, but often unnoticed.

However, this is not to say parades - from any cultural traditions - are ignored. Instead, a culture of respect has developed which allows parades to take place in an environment which takes everyone’s viewpoint into account.

Two major loyal order parades took place in Derry over the summer without incident and largely without major disruption to the everyday life of the city.

Derry also hosted two very different parades at the weekend, both of which benefited from this culture of respect. The Black Preceptory paraded around the walls while thousands joined in the Foyle Pride parade through the city centre.

Of course, this culture of tolerance and respect is not perfect and requires ongoing work to maintain and develop but it has created the space for improved community relations while narrowing the ground for those who seek to promote division.