Theresa Villiers is not an independent arbiter on Parading - McElduff
Sinn Féin MLA for West Tyrone Barry McElduff has called on Theresa Villiers to stay out of parading issues stating that her comments today further endorse the view that there is a hierarchy of victims when it comes to the conflict on Ireland.
Speaking today Mr McElduff said:
"The Republican commemoration in Castlederg in organised in order to have a dignified and respectful commemoration of Co. Tyrone's patriot dead. We will do so this Sunday.
“The organisers of the commemoration have already taken a positive initiative to voluntarily reroute this parade. This was rejected by unionism.
“The Parades Commission for their part have restricted the commemoration further, to a part of the town that by no means could be described as contentious.
“Despite this the British Secretary of State has chosen to intervene. Theresa Villiers is in no way an independent arbiter in this issue and should stay out of parading issues.
“Instead in her comments Ms Villiers has outlined her partisan objections and further endorsed the view that there are a hierarchy of victims when it comes to the conflict in Ireland.
"Sinn Féin believe that there can be no hierarchy of victims and that we all should have the opportunity to remember our dead.
“Each November and indeed at other times of the year those with a British identity commemorate the British Crown forces who have died. Many in Ireland suffered at the hands of these forces yet the commemorations are respected.
“Theresa Villiers should respect the right of Irish people to remember with dignity their patriot dead.”