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Sinn Féin hit out at PSNI and Parades Commission over Orange March in Dunmurry

20 June, 2008

Sinn Féin MLA Paul Butler has criticised the PSNI and the Parades Commission for not informing local community representatives about an Orange March in Dunmurry village on Friday night, 20th June.

Mr Butler said:

"We had an agreement with both the PSNI and the Parades Commission that we would work closely in relation to marches in Dunmurry. This has now been seriously undermined by the stance these bodies have taken to simply ignore us.

"We should have been contacted about this parade given the grave concerns we have raised with the PSNI and Parades Commission about the heightening of sectarian tensions in Dunmurry at this time of the year and in particular the increasing number of parades being organised in Dunmurry village by the Orange Order.

"This type of attitude is totally unacceptable. We are trying to ensure that we have a peaceful and incident free summer during the marching season. The PSNI and Parades Commission knew about this parade yet they chose not to discuss the matter with both ourselves and the nationalist community."

Over the last number of weeks Sinn Fein and community representatives have worked closely with the PSNI and the Parades Commission in relation to parades in Dunmurry and the Suffolk area.

Mr Butler added:

"We have met with both the PSNI and the Parades Commission to ensure these parades passed off without incident. We have also help facilitate dialogue between both communities in Dunmurry and Suffolk to help deal with sectarian tensions.

"The decision of the PSNI and Parades Commission not to work with Sinn Fein and local community representatives only makes the situation regarding parades and sectarian incidents more difficult to address. There needs to be a close working relationship with elected representatives and the community if we are to deal with contentious parades." ENDS

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