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Qualified welcome for Castlederg Parade decision

11 September, 2006

Sinn Féin councillor Charlie Mc Hugh has given a "qualified welcome" to a Parades Commission decision to re-route a major loyalist band parade away from the nationalist Ferguson Crescent/Killeter Road area of Castlederg this Saturday night.

Cllr Mc Hugh said,

"I welcome the fact that the Parades Commission has re-routed this loyalist parade, comprising of 70 bands and some 2500 participants, away from the nationalist Ferguson Crescent/Killeter Road area.

"However, I will withhold final judgement until I see whether the organisers of this loyalist parade attempt to appeal any aspects of the decision, and if this happens whether the Parades Commission amend their original decision due to loyalist pressure, as has happened on a number of occasions in Castlederg this year.

"Apart from the issue of Parade's Commission u-turns, there is the fundamental issue of why the organisers (Castlederg Young Loyalists) want to bring 70 loyalist bands and some 2,700 participants to the majority nationalist town of Castlederg on a Saturday night in September to parade around in the dark between the hours of 9pm and 11pm.

"While the marching season is now supposed to be officially over Castlederg still has to endure parades of this nature, yet there is still sign of anyone from the loyal orders or loyalist band fraternity being prepared to engage in face to face discussions with local nationalist residents about contentious marching issues in Castlederg." Ends

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