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Sinn Féin comment on Tour of the North Parade

14 June, 2006

Sinn Féin Councillor for the Ardoyne area Margaret McClenaghan today praised the work undertaken by the Ardoyne Dialogue Group in the run up to this Friday's Tour of the North Orange parade.

Cllr. McClenaghan said:

"The nationalist community in Ardoyne will as ever be hopeful that this Friday's Tour of the North Parade passes off peacefully and without incident. In the past this parade has resulted in widespread disruption and attacks on nationalist homes. Indeed after one such parade staff in the Mater hospital ended up coming under attack from a unionist mob attending the parade.

"The Ardoyne Dialogue Group in partnership with the local community have engaged in a process with the North and West Parades Forum which it is hoped will enable local people to get on with their lives with minimal disruption or sectarian harassment. I commend the work they done and I would appeal to people, particularly from outside the area not to do anything on Friday night which will undermine this work."

Party colleague Cllr. Carál Ní Chuilín however did express concerns that the parade organisers were still insisting on marching up through the Duncairn Gardens, an area which has in the past seen trouble erupting.

Cllr. Ní Chuilín said:

"The Tour of the North parade passes through a variety of interface and nationalist areas. It is obviously our hope that the efforts of the Dialogue Group ensure that the Ardoyne shops part of the route passes of without incident.

"However I do have concerns that the march organisers are insisting on marching up Duncairn Gardens and the Parades Commission have failed to issue a determination on this or indeed on the parade followers at this part of the route.

"In the past this area has seen trouble erupt during this parade. I would appeal to people in this area to remain calm on Friday night and for people from outside the area to stay away during the parade to allow local people to try and ensure a peaceful evening." ENDS

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