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Loyal Order creating smokescreen over Lurgan parade

8 July, 2004

Upper Bann Sinn Féin Assembly member John O'Dowd has accused the Black Perceptory of 'creating a deliberate smokescreen after the Order sought to march down William Street in Lurgan to reach the train station'.

Mr O'Dowd said:

"The Loyal Orders are all aware that a parade through the William Street area of Lurgan is not acceptable. Despite this the Black Perceptary has sought to create a smokescreen by chartering a train and then demanding the right to march along William Street to reach the station to board the train and head off to Bangor for their parade. In previous years the Loyal Orders have chosen to use buses to get to parade venues.

"The issue however is not the use of the train as some within the Loyal Orders and the unionist media have sought to portray. The issue is the parade and the route it takes and the venue that it disperses at before the marchers board the train.

"I have met with the Parades Commission and have asked them to review the current determination which ends the march directly at the top of William Street. It is the view of the local community that the parade should terminate further up the town as to allow for a break in the parade before the loyal orders proceed down William Street to the train station.

"It is crucial that the good community relations which have been maintained within the Lurgan over the past number of years are not put under strain by what many local nationalists see as a cynical move by the Black Perceptory to force a parade through a nationalist area of the town." ENDS

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