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Ombudsman Report shows PSNI parade statements to be untrue

21 June, 2006

Sinn Féin MLA John O'Dowd has welcomed a report by the Police Ombudsman into the PSNI's handling of Black Preceptory parade in Lurgan two years ago. The Sinn Féin MLA had made a formal complaint into the PSNI operation surrounding the parade in July 2004 which led to a crowd of loyalists, including known LVF members, taking control of the town centre, and saw the sealing off of the town for several hours by the PSNI.

Mr O'Dowd said,

"The PSNI issued misleading statements saying that they were forced to change the route after the driver of a car refused to move it from an area cordoned-off for marchers. At the time I said those statements were untrue were, Indeed, those statements hid the fact that the PSNI had permitted over 100 loyalists were allowed to block the main street in Lurgan.

"The PSNI's collusion with loyalists is exposed by this report which I welcome. The onus is now on the Parades Commission to ensure there is no repeat of this fiasco." ENDS

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