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Sinn Féin meet Parades Commission regarding Garvaghy Road

28 June, 2006

Sinn Féin MLA for Upper Bann John O'Dowd has today met with the Parades Commission in Belfast to discuss the Orange Order's insistence that it march through the nationalist Garvaghy Road area of Portadown this summer.

Speaking after the meeting Mr O'Dowd said:

"Today's meeting with the Parades Commission was about emphasizing the need for the Parades Commission to stand firm and not capitulate to the Orange Order.

"Nationalists and Republicans in Portadown have a complete lack of faith in the Parades Commission and neither the Chairman nor the British Secretary of State have sought to address this matter.

"I impressed upon the Parades Commission that for the Orange Order to walk into a room and meet with residents should not be used as justification for a march on the Garvaghy Road. This should not be a box ticking exercise for the Orange Order. Events to date on the Springfield Road, suggest that this is all the Parades Commission are interested in. What is required is that the rights of nationalists to live free from sectarian harassment as promised in the Good Friday Agreement are upheld." ENDS

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