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Wells accused of grandstanding over Kilkeel St Patrick's Day Parade

9 March, 2004

Sinn Féin South Down MLA Caitríona Ruane has accused the DUPs Jim Wells of grandstanding over threats to have restrictions placed on the annual Kilkeel St Patrick's Day parade.

Ms Ruane said:

"Instead of trying to create division and conflict around the issue of a St Patrick's Day carnival in Kilkeel, an event that is marked by people of differing political persuasion the world over ˆ Jim Wells should be working to reduce tension and conflict.

"Last year Jim Wells created controversy when, in front of hundreds of young children, he tried to remove a banner from one of the marching bands. His behaviour indicated his unwillingness to accept the rights of nationalists to express their identity.

"Mr Wells would better serve all the people of this constituency if he used his good offices in conjunction with my own to promote tolerance, understanding and equality."ENDS

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