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Nationalists will be shocked at SDLP support for RIR parade

5 November, 2008

North Antrim Sinn Féin MLA Daithí McKay has said that the SDLP's decision to come out to support an RIR parade over the weekend would not be well received within the nationalist community given the history of that armed group in the Six Counties. Mr McKay said it was clearly contradictory for the SDLP to say that they oppose the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan and then come out to welcome British Army troops in Ballymena.

Mr McKay said:

"In Ballymena on Friday night local SDLP MLA Declan O'Loan turned out to support the British Army parade which passed through the town. Given the fact that the SDLP say that they oppose the war in Iraq being waged by the British Army and were opposed to the RIR marching through Belfast most will find the actions of Mr O'Loan bizarre.

"At this stage in the peace process it was clearly insensitive for the RIR to parade in the way they did in Belfast. I think relatives of the victims of state violence are entitled to an explanation from the SDLP as they refused to support those victims who were protesting on Sunday but their representatives have no qualms about attending British Army parades along with those loyalist groups who the RIR colluded with over the past 40 years." ENDS

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