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Ó Donnghaile comments at east Belfast "Mini Twelfth"

1 July, 2013

Speaking from the Short Strand area this evening Cllr Niall Ó Donnghaile said;

"I am thankful that tonight's parade passed off peacefully. I want to commend the dignity and resolve of those residents along the Albertbridge Road who held a peaceful protest this evening. 

A substantial amount of work and engagement has been ongoing in the Short Strand area to ensure a peaceful night for all. 

I would thank also those community and youth leaders locally who provided substantial diversionary events for children and young people.

 The reality however is that this community had to endure yet another massive policing operation to facilitate a parade organised by people who continue to refuse to engage with the Short Strand residents.

 It is important to remember that the only homes on this stretch of the Albertbridge Road are on the nationalist side and it makes no sense to have such a large volume of supporters along this route of the parade only to antagonise residents who live there.

 I witnessed a number of breaches of the Parades Commission determination at tonight's parade including the display of numerous paramilitary flags.

 I would once again call on the Loyal Orders to follow the lead of those residents from opposite sides of the interface in east Belfast who sat down and met last week following several nights of tension. This work isn't and will not be easy but it is the only way forward."

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