Sinn Féin - On Your Side

SDLP should come clean on Parades Commission deal

2 December, 2005

Sinn Féin Assembly member for Upper Bann John O'Dowd has called on the SDLP to come clean on the deal they done with the British Secretary of State Peter Hain to secure Joe Hendron's appointment to the new Parades Commission which is clearly biased in its make up.

Mr O'Dowd said:

" There can be no argument that the new Parades Commission is biased in favour of the unionist position in terms of its make up. What has yet to be clarified is the role of the SDLP in bringing this situation about.

" It seems that the SDLP have done a deal with Peter Hain to secure the appointment of senior party figure Joe Hendron while agreeing to turn a blind eye to the obvious imbalance with the rest of the Commission.

" Once again it seems that the SDLP have put their own need to secure positions for their own people before the needs and entitlements of working class nationalist and republican communities who have suffered and continue to suffer through the demands of the loyal orders to force sectarian parades through their areas.

" Sinn Féin will continue to stand by and support nationalist communities threatened with the prospect of unwanted sectarian parades and will not, like the SDLP, enter into deals which clearly raise the prospect once again of Orange Order parades being forced through areas in the absence of real and meaningful dialogue and discussion." ENDS

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