Senior Orangemen in Co Fermanagh have met with Northern Ireland Minister, Shailesh Vara MP.

Mr Vara was welcomed to Enniskillen District Orange Hall by County Grand Master, Stuart Brooker.

During the meeting, the minister was updated on the activities of the Institution in the lakeland county, including its good relations strategy and its charitable outreach.

Mr Vara also learned more about local Orangemen murdered during the Troubles and discussed legacy issues with brethren.

Speaking afterwards, Mr Brooker described the meeting as “very positive”.

He said: “County Fermanagh Grand Lodge was delighted to welcome Minister Vara to Enniskillen District Hall. We had a very open and receptive discussion, and we are very grateful to the Minister for taking time out of his busy schedule to speak with us, and learn more about the Orange cultural tradition.

“We discussed in great detail with Minister Vara our ongoing good relations strategy, which emanated from a community audit in 2014, and underlined the integral role of the institution in wider community life. This was highlighted to the Minister by outlining to him our charitable endeavours to a range of good causes in the county and beyond.”

Mr Brooker continued: “Poignantly, we also explained to Minister Vara our plans to compile an exhibition documenting the loss of 31 of our members, who were murdered by republican terrorists during the course of the Troubles. The Minister was shown our memorial bannerette which honours their memory, and conversed with Norman Donaldson, whose grandfather, also Norman, was one of the victims.”

He added: “We trust the Minister enjoyed his visit and we look forward to continuing such engagement with Government, and other stakeholders, in the time ahead.”