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PSNI overturn Parade Commission Lurgan determination

13 July, 2004

Sinn Féin Assembly member for Upper Bann John O'Dowd has accused the PSNI of over ruling a Parades Commission determination on a Black Perceptory parade in Lurgan this evening.

Mr O'Dowd said:

"Having met with the Parades Commission in the lead up to this parade I was well aware of the Commissions determination. So too where other local politicians, the Blackmen and the PSNI.

"However this evening, in a mirror image of what happened last night in Ardoyne, the PSNI overturned the determination and forced a parade through the nationalist part of the town. This was clearly designed to provoke trouble and this was only averted through the work of local republicans on the ground. The PSNI then allowed a crowd of up to 300 loyalists to blockade the town centre for up to an hour.

"The actions of the PSNI over the past two nights in overturning Parades Commission determinations raises very serious issues both for the future of parading and the future of policing. Unionists within the PSNI with the

support of unionists within the NIO are once again dictating the parading and policing agenda. This is unacceptable and must raise questions for those parties and individuals who continue to promote the PSNI to nationalists as an acceptable and accountable policing service." ENDS

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