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Proper Dialogue needed between residents and band parade organisers - Curran‏

15 August, 2008

Sinn Féin Newry and Mourne Council Leader, Brendan Curran has said that a recent meeting between Newry and Mourne Council Leaders and members of the 'South Down Defenders' was not a serious attempt to resolve the outstanding issues around contentious band parades.

Councillor Curran said,

Parade organisers asked to meet with Council group leaders, however only Sinn Féin and the DUP attended. While the meeting discussed some of the issues, this can in no way be seen as a substitute for the dialogue that needs to take place between the parade organisers and local residents.

These band parades have always been hugely contentious in Newry with the closing down of a main road into the City thus ensuring maximum inconvenience and traffic chaos and delays taking place. The flying of UVF Bannerettes and Flags by several Bands is seen as very deliberate sectarian act and intimidation on the nationalist residents of the area and a direct violation of previous Parades' Commission's determinations.

He added

"The people of the Belfast Rd. are entitled to have their voices heard in relation to these matters and the parade organisers need to begin a genuine process of negotiation with the residents." ENDS

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