Residents facing‘lockdown’ to facilitate loyalist parade: Brady

April 18, 2017

Residents and businesses in the Belfast Road area of Newry will be severely inconvenienced and face a period of “lockdown” when a loyalist parade featuring dozens of bands takes place this Friday, MP Mickey Brady has claimed.

The annual event is being organized by the Loyal Sons of Benagh Flute Band and will commence at Newry Olympic Hockey Club at 7.30pm on Friday 21st April.  Organisers have revealed that up to 84 bands and around 4,000 participants will take part in the parade, which is expected to take around three hours to follow the route, before concluding at 10.30pm.

Mr Brady revealed that during a recent meeting with the PSNI, he raised concerns of how the event will impact on residents and potentially cause significant traffic disruption.

Describing the meeting as “frank but constructive” Mr Brady said: “I raised a range of ongoing matters of concerns, one of them being the impact on local residents and businesses by the forthcoming band parade.

“I have been contacted by local residents who have been informed that 84 bands and 4,000 participants are expected. This will cause huge inconvenience to residents as they face a period of ‘lock down’. Major traffic disruption and gridlock takes place throughout the city and local businesses suffer.”

He says the parade organisers are failing to respect the rights of residents and businesses in the area.

“Myself nor the residents are trying to inhibit the right of those organising this band parade to celebrate their culture, but we do believe that they are not respecting the rights of the residents and businesses.  This band parade is not welcomed by the majority of local residents and negatively impacts on the local business community,” he said.

Calling on the PSNI to ensure minimum disruption, he added: “The main roads into and out of Newry must be cleared as quickly as practically possible to allow free movement of traffic and local people need to be accommodated where necessary to get to and from their homes.”