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Sinn Féin challenge Loyalist Firework display beside Old People’s Home in Castlederg

14 September, 2007

West Tyrone Sinn Féin MP Pat Doherty is today awaiting a decision from the NIO to an official objection he lodged against an application by loyalists to hold a major fire works display adjacent to an Old Peoples' Home in Castlederg tomorrow night.

Mr Doherty said:

"I submitted my objection to this application on Wednesday and am I awaiting the NIO's response today.

"A large number of constituents have contacted me expressing deep concern about this application by the Castlederg Young Loyalist Flute Band to hold a major fire-works display at the Castle Site off Main Street in Castlederg late tomorrow night.

"Leaving aside the fact that this proposed display forms part of activities of a major loyalist band parade planned for the town tomorrow night and the divisive and polarizing affect this parade is having upon community relations in the area I believe, first and foremost, that it is totally inappropriate to permit such a fire-works display adjacent to an old peoples' home given the clear health and safety risks involved. It would be difficult to think of a more inappropriate place to have such an event.

"My concerns about this event are not only shared by members of the local nationalist community but also by members of the local unionist community and as MP for the area I have officially registered these concerns with the NIO and urged it to refuse permission for this ill-conceived fire-works display.

"The NIO cannot shirk its responsibility in this matter." ENDS

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