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“DEMAND FOR REMOVAL OF RAYMOND MC CREESH NAME FROM LOCAL NEWRY PARK BY ORANGE ORDER DESCRIBED AS DISAPPOINTING” Sinn Féin

8 July, 2008


Newry City Sinn Féin Councillor Brendan Curran has described the demand by Newry LOL Number 9 to rename the current local Play area in Patrick Street as deeply disappointing and a gross insult to the vast majority of people in the area who supported the naming of the Park after Hunger Striker Raymond Mc Creesh..

Councillor Curran explained that the matter had come to light at a meeting today in the Council Chamber.

"The Newry Orange Order in their demand to the Council referred to Raymond Mc Creesh as a "convicted terrorist" and said that if the small Play area remained named after the Hunger Striker, then our Council effectively was reinforcing that Newry was a cold house for the Protestant community. That is grossly misleading, indeed the deliberate use of what many of the community that I represent view as grossly insulting terminology, is all very sad. Just a short time ago people from the very community that avail of the Play facility, actually took it on themselves to help secure the local Altnaveigh Orange Hall which had been attacked and vandalised. The Orange Order in Newry is clearly stating to the vast majority of residents in the Patrick Street, and greater Ballybot area that their views do not count. On the one hand the Orange Order insists on the recognition of their historical, cultural and civic rights, and on the other they completely refuse to allow the same principals for nationalists and republicans" said Councillor Curran.

His colleague Councillor Charlie Casey said that he shared the anger of many of the residents at the news of the revelations. "The local community have fought long and hard to have this Play area developed and maintained. There is now a deep resentment that the Orange Order should use the facility to stir up division. The rationale of the Orange Orders argument means that places like Needham Bridge and Bagnells Castle should also be renamed. I am aware that the Equality Commission are now examining the Raymond Mc Creesh Park issue and I would expect that they will now also look at names of all other locations".

Meanwhile Fews area Councillor Pat mc Ginn has said that the Orange Order and their spokespeople have remained very silent about Granite View Play area near Saval. "This Children's Play area, catering for a mixed housing estate, is festooned with over 10 Unionist and Loyalist flags and emblems. There has been a deafly silence from the Loyal Orders and Unionist leaders as to the impact that these flags are having on many within that local community".

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