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Urgent Parades Commission meeting requested to discuss Newry band parade

21 August, 2008 - by Mickey Brady

Sinn Féin MLA Mickey Brady and Newry & Mourne DPP chairperson Councillor Brendan Curran have sought a meeting with the Parades Commission as a matter of urgency in relation to a band competition organised by the South Down Defenders.

Mr. Brady said,

"Sinn Féin recently carried out a survey in the Belfast Rd. area of the city regarding a loyalist band competition which is to take place on 29th August. The results of the survey revealed that 88.9% of residents are opposed to the march.

These band competitions have always been hugely contentious in Newry with the closing down of two main roads in the city thus ensuring maximum inconvenience, traffic chaos and delays taking place. The flying of UVF Bannerettes and Flags by several Bands is seen as a very deliberate sectarian act and intimidation on the nationalist residents in the area and a direct violation of previous Parades' Commission's determinations.

"The people of this area are entitled to have their voices heard in relation to these matters and the parade organisers need to begin a genuine process of negotiation with the residents.

"We will be asking the Parades Commission to re-route this parade to an area where it is wanted. It is unfair to impose a parade on an area where there is such a high percentage of people living in homes along the route who do not want it to take place." ENDS

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