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Ombudsman finds that Ardoyne community's rights denied by PSNI operation

6 July, 2006

Sinn Féin Assembly member for North Belfast Gerry Kelly has welcomed the conclusion of the Police Ombudsman Nuala O'Loan that the residents of Ardoyne were "deprived of their right to move freely and to exercise their other rights" because of the PSNI operation to facilitate an Orange Parade through their community in July 2004. The Police Ombudsman Report came about after complaints made by Sinn Fein and local residents.

Mr Kelly said:

"The publication of the Police Ombudsman investigation into the police of the Orange Order parade on July 12th 2004 through the Ardoyne area is timely given the fact that the Order and their loyalist paramilitary followers will attempt to carry out a similar parade next week.

"The Police Ombudsman is very clear that the PSNI operation to facilitate both the Orange Parade and the march by followers of the Order including prominent unionist paramilitaries effectively corralled the nationalist community of Ardoyne and deprived them of their rights. This is what Sinn Féin clearly said at that time.

"Both the PSNI and the Parades Commission need to study this report very carefully. The manner in which the residents of Ardoyne have been treated over recent marching seasons is unacceptable. The root cause of this is the insistence by the Orange Order and their paramilitary followers to march through catholic areas and the willingness of the PSNI to hem nationalist communities into their own homes." ENDS

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