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Ó Donnghaile comments on last nights 'Mini Twelfth' in East Belfast

2 July, 2008

Speaking after the annual Somme Commemoration Parade in East Belfast, local Sinn Féin representative Niall Ó Donnghaile has welcomed the fact that this year no major incidents took place, but has said a lot of work still needs to be done in the time ahead.

He said,

"Despite being at times extremely provocative, last nights 'mini twelfth' passed without any major incident. I want to commend those youth workers in the Short Strand and Market areas who put so much hard work into keeping young people from being drawn to this parade, their work was invaluable. I would also acknowledge and commend the representatives from the BRN who were on the ground. The onus remains on the PSNI to police parades effectively and not police the area or the people subjected to them.

"I was deeply concerned last night at the large amount of young participants, many of whom were intoxicated, to be allowed down the near side of the road to jeer at those people taking part in the protest. I also noted a number of loyalist flags being carried during the parade despite being in breach of the parade commission's code of conduct.

"All of this brings into question the rational for allowing such a large scale and disruptive parade to be allowed to pass along a stretch of road solely occupied by Nationalist and Republican homes.

"The parading issue in East Belfast can only be resolved through dialogue between the Loyal Orders and the residents in the Short Strand." CRÍOCH

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