Sinn Féin - On Your Side


12 July, 2005

Sinn Féin MLA John O Dowd has called on the Police Ombudsmans office to send
observers to Lurgan to monitor the PSNIs handling of Loyal order parades
after the Orange Order were allowed to march through a contentious area of
Lurgan this morning, in complete defiance of a Parades Commission
determination, without any interference form the PSNI.

Mr O Dowd said,

"The Parades Commission determination had clearly stated that the Orange
Order was not allowed to enter William St during this morning's parade.
However as the parade came to an end, around a dozen Orange Order leading
officers, including local MP David Simpson and several other unionist
politicians, broke away from the parade and proceeded along the entire
length of William St, in full Orange regalia. The PSNI failed to prevent
this breach of the determination, and intead gave the illegal parade an
escort to the railway station, at the bottom of William St.

"The dozen or so marchers then removed their Orange regalia and walked back
up William St to re-join the main parade. This willingness of the PSNI to
facilitate this illegal demonstration in Lurgan is similar to the stance
adopted by the PSNI in relation to another illegal Orange demonstration in
Dunloy, also this morning. Both of these incidents contrast starkly with the
PSNI's removal of Nationalists residents from the route of an Orange march
in Ardoyne today."

"It would appear that the PSNI, like the old RUC, see one of their primary
roles as attempting to re-assert Orange Order domination over minority
nationalist communities."

Concluding Mr O Dowd said,

"It is clear following last year's breaches of Parades Commissions
determination in Lurgan  and now this mornings breach facilitated by the
PSNI , that the PSNI cannot be trusted to enforce such determinations, I am
calling on the Police Ombudsmans office to intervene and place personnel on
the ground in Lurgan to monitor PSNI activity, and Loyal Order parade.

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