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Lurgan St Patrick’s Day Orange Order march will damage community relations

14 March, 2007

Sinn Fein MLA John O Dowd has said he cannot comprehend the logic behind the Parades Commissions decision to allow an Orange Order march through Lurgan town centre on St Patrick's Day.

Mr O Dowd said

"The Orange Order has said that their parade has nothing to do with St Patrick's Day, the Parades Commission has said that the Orange Order has not engaged with anyone affected by their march, yet the Parades Commission has rewarded them with a parade through parts of Lurgan where it will be clearly unwanted. By their decision the Commission has also added another March date to the Lurgan calendar for next year.

"I would urge the Orange Order to rethink their march route, there are alternative routes. If they insist on this march route they will damage community relations and the commercial life of Lurgan on one of the busiest shopping days of the year, the day before mothers day.

"The march organizers, LOL 6, have made a number of public political statements in recent weeks, voicing their opposition to a Power sharing Executive and many see this march as a rally call to anti agreement unionism.

"I would also appeal for calm and for a peaceful day, there is an undoubted responsibility on the Orange Order to ensure the day passes off peacefully." ENDS

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