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Parades Commission Chair leaving himself open to ridicule

4 May, 2006

Sinn Féin Assembly member for Upper Bann John O'Dowd has branded the defence of Don McKay by the Parades Commission Chief Roger Poole as "a pretty pathetic effort". Mr O'Dowd's remarks come after Rodger Poole this morning tried to defend Orangeman Don McKay after he publicly admitted working within the Commission for the ends set out by the Orange Order.

Mr O'Dowd said:

"The reality which both Roger Poole and Don McKay seem to have failed to grasp is the fact that in the eyes of the nationalist community Mr McKay's position as a Parades Commissioner is untenable.

"The process to appointment him in the first place was abused and the comments of Mr McKay since in addition to previous legal cases he has been involved in demonstrate clearly to nationalists that this individual should have no part in deciding the future of parading.

"Roger Poole's defence of Mr McKay while being pretty pathetic does have the effect of undermining confidence in his ability to chair this Commission in an impartial and fair manner. Mr Poole would be better off seeking Mr McKay's resignation instead of leaving himself open to public ridicule by going onto the media and defending the indefensible." ENDS

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