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McKay hits out at DUP comments

25 August, 2004

Rasharkin Sinn Féin Representative, Daithí McKay, has hit out at comments from DUP Councillors John Finlay and Ian Stevenson about last week's loyalist parade in Rasharkin.

Mr McKay said:

"The DUP's efforts to 'sectarianise' the Rasharkin Residents Group protest last week are nothing short of hypocritical given the events that occurred at last week's loyalist parade.

"Contrary to Mr Finlay's comments, I am in no way trying to deny anyone their Ulster-Scots culture. I do think, however, that bands that openly support and fly the flag of loyalist paramilitaries should not be allowed to cause havoc in this village. No one here has forgotten 1995, when loyalist band members physically assaulted residents of Rasharkin and caused extensive damage to people's homes.

"Cllr Stevenson is right when he says that people "don't grow horns when they put on a band uniform". But when band supporters start taunting locals about being "up to our knees in Fenian blood" it raises serious questions about the kind of people Ballymaconnelly band are inviting into Rasharkin.

"As yet the DUP have failed to mention the graffiti daubed at the Rasharkin Community Centre, which residents woke up to on the morning after the parade. Perhaps its because the slogan 'Taigs Out' is so closely aligned to the DUP's own ideology. They have also failed to mention the loyalist flags erected outside the Catholic Church in Cloughmills.

"If graffiti were to appear in Rasharkin that was either anti-Protestant or anti-Catholic I would only be too glad to help remove it. If Mr Finlay were to join with me in removing ANY such graffiti it would surely be a great way of improving community relations in the area - What do you say John?" ENDS

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