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Sinn Féin welcome Kilkeel parade commission determination

9 August, 2004

Sinn Fein's spokesperson on Equality and Human Right's Caitriona Ruane has welcomed the decision by the Parade's Commission not to place restrictions on Sunday's 15th of August parade.

Ms Ruane said:

"This is one of only two traditional events involving nationalist bands that take place in Kilkeel every year and I welcome the decision by the Parade's Commission not to impose restrictions on the march. Attempts by some Unionist politicians to generate controversy and raise tensions cannot disguise the fact that the participating bands and marchers always behave with dignity and self-respect. This has been recognised by the Parade's Commission who have praised the efforts of the parade's organisers for displaying a level of sensitivity to their Protestant neighbours that is rarely reciprocated".

Spokesperson for Sinn Féin in the town Martin Connolly also welcomed the decision and pointed out that the organisers of the event had made every effort to ensure the parade did not take place during Church Services.

"Nationalists are only too aware of how offensive parades can be, especially when they coincide with people attending their place of worship.

"During the marching season, dozens of Loyalist parades take place in Kilkeel on a Saturday evening regardless of the inconvience it causes to people attending Mass. I wish therefore to credit the organisers of Sunday's parade who have done all in their power to ensure it does not coincide with church services in the town. The efforts of nationalists to respect their Protestant neighbours must be part of a two way process and Loyalists must realise the days of Kilkeel continuing to be a cold house for nationalists are at an end." ENDS

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