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Parades Commission must not cave in to unionist pressure on Dunloy parade - Sinn Féin MLA

10 July, 2006

Sinn Féin MLA for North Antrim Philip McGuigan has today urged the Parades Commission to "hold firm against unionist pressure" in relation to its decision on an orange parade in the village on the 12th July.

Mr McGuigan made his comments after both himself and Dunloy residents met with the Parades Commission in Belfast this morning. DUP leader Ian Paisley is due to meet the Parades Commission Chair, Roger Poole in Britain today.

Speaking today Mr McGuigan said:

"At today's meeting with the Parades Commission we urged that body to hold firm against unionist pressure and not bow to the demands of Ian Paisley. The original decision by the Parades Commission must be upheld.

"Sinn Féin has never refused anyone from attending church or laying wreaths in the town. However we do oppose the sectarian coat trailing exercise which the Orange Order attempt to foist on the people of Dunloy on an annual basis.

"The resolution of this issue lies in both dialogue and accommodation at local level. The Orange Order consistently refuses to engage in this process in Dunloy, a position which is replicated across the Six Counties. My hope is that the residents of Dunloy will enjoy a peaceful day this coming Wednesday without their village besieged by bigots in bowler hats." ENDS

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