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Sinn Féin question SDLP role in establishing biased Parades Commission

1 December, 2005

Sinn Féin Assembly member Alex Maskey said today that the newly constituted Parades Commission is clearly biased in terms of its make up. Mr Maskey also questioned the role of the SDLP in putting this new body together.

Mr Maskey said

" The new Parades Commission has no representative of a working class nationalist or republican community directly affected by the issue of sectarian parades. It has instead at least two members of the loyal orders and two members of the local policing DPPs.

" Given this bias in make up nationalists and republicans will be justifiably sceptical of this Commissions ability to reach impartial and fair determinations. Another point which needs to be clarified is the role of the SDLP in putting this new Commission together.

" It would seem that the SDLP has colluded with the British government to ensure its own representation, in the shape of Joe Hendron, in exchange for the rest of the Parades Commission being loaded in favour of the unionist and loyal order position." ENDS

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