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Maskey calls on Orange Order to lift threat to Springfield Road community

27 June, 2005

Sinn Féin Assembly member Alex Maskey expressed his concerns that the threat placed over the residents of the Springfield Road by the Orange Order by insisting it will march along the nationalist part of the road before the autumn is exacerbating an already tense situation.

Mr Maskey said:

"Nationalist residents on the Springfield Road were relieved for themselves and their property that Saturday passed off without major incident around their homes. In contrast the Orange Order march which went ahead on the Shankill Road was clearly welcome to the people of that area. The Orange Order should recognise this reality.

"Unfortunately the Order does not yet see that to avail of the generous compromise route through the Mackies site out onto the Springfield Road which was put forward by the local community is the sensible way forward and instead continue with their demand to march along the Springfield Road through the closed gates at Workmans before the autumn.

"The ongoing tension and stress this imposes upon the nationalist community on the Springfield Road and the stress it imposes on community relations is unacceptable and should be removed.

"If the Orange Order want to march through areas where the local community does not want them then at the very least they have an obligation to enter into real and meaningful dialogue. Threatening host communities and raising tensions in interface areas is not the way forward. The Parades Commission have an obligation not to capitulate to the campaign of threats and intimidation which the Orange Order has mapped out for the coming weeks." ENDS

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