Sinn Féin - On Your Side

Parades Commission must not bow to Unionist threats

28 June, 2004

Sinn Féin Assembly member for Upper Bann John O'Dowd has said that the Parades Commission could have come to no other decision than to re-route this weekends Drumcree Orange march away from the Garvaghy Road.

Mr O'Dowd said:

"At it most basic level the Drumcree Orange parade is little more than a sectarian coat trailing exercise through the Catholic community in Portadown. It is up to the Orange Order to explain the rational behind wanting to parade through an area where they are clearly not welcome.

"The Parades Commission could not have come to any other decision than to re-route the parade away from Garvaghy Road. However there is now a real concern that given the capitulation of the Parades Commission to an alliance of unionist politicians and paramilitaries over last weekends Springfield Road march that they could go down a similar route over the Drumcree parade.

"Nationalists in Portadown and elsewhere remember well the events of 1996 when an alliance between David Trimble and Billy Wright was used to threaten violence and force the parade down Garvaghy Road. The Parades Commission would be very foolish if they were to consider a similar outcome this Sunday." ENDS

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