Sinn Féin - On Your Side

Acid test for Parades Commission still to come

19 January, 2006


Sinn Féin Assembly member for Upper Bann John O'Dowd today said that notwithstanding today's determination by the Parades Commission, the Orange Order in Portadown and elsewhere needed to face the reality that 'the nationalist community in Portadown have rights and entitlements which must be respected and upheld'. Mr O'Dowd's remarks came after the Parades Commission again barred the Orange Order from marching along Garvaghy Road.

Mr O'Dowd said:

" It seems that since the appointment of two prominent Orangemen to the Parades Commission there are those within the Portadown district who think that turning up to a meeting with the Commission will secure a march along Garvaghy Road. That approach is unacceptable and will simply not work.

" The reality is that the Orange Order in Portadown continues to go through the weekly charade of filing for a parade every Sunday while continuing to ignore the genuine concerns of the nationalist community in Portadown. Most people living in the Garvaghy Road community realise that the acid test for this Commission did not arise today but will emerge as the date of the annual Drumcree march draws closer in July.

" It is time for the Orange Order and others to stop playing games and acknowledge for the fact that the nationalist community in Portadown have rights and entitlements which must be respected and upheld. " ENDS

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