Orange parade will place residents under house arrest: Brady

July 3, 2012

Sinn Fein Assembly man, Mickey Brady, says his party has contacted the Parades Commission to raise concerns regarding a large parade scheduled to be held in Newry on July 12th.

Up to 10,000 Orangemen and their supporters, led by around forty bands, are expected to attend the march.  The application by Newry District LOL No.9 has been criticized by Sinn Fein whose members are calling for community consultation ahead of the event.

Confirming that his party has made a written submission to the Parades Commission, Mr Brady said: “I want to make it clear that Sinn Féin are not proposing a blanket ban on band parades however when a proposed band parade is not wanted by the majority of local residents and negatively impacts on the local business community, we feel that we have an obligation to act on behalf of those people.

“For this reason we have time and again requested, through the Parades Commission, to meet with the organisers of this parade so that we can put the concerns of the community directly to them. To date this meeting has not been facilitated.”

Outlining some of the concerns raised by residents, he continued: “Regarding this particular parade the concerns of local residents centre around the traffic chaos the parade will inevitably bring. The Parades Commission decision to close the Belfast Road means that the whole of Newry will be gridlocked for most of the day. This has an impact on all local businesses such as retailers and all those involved in the service industry. It could also have a major impact on access to and from Daisy Hill Hospital, with potentially disastrous consequences in the event of a serious accident occurring.

“Additionally there has been no community consultation whatsoever on behalf of the parade organisers. Commitments to issue leaflets to local houses have not been honoured and I do not feel that one small advert in a local newspaper is adequate notice for a community which will be effectively under house arrest on 12th July,” he said.

Mr Brady pointed out that in previous years, participating bands have not adhered to time restrictions on parades and there have also been concerns regarding street drinking and littering.

“All in all I feel that to date the legitimate concerns of the people of Newry are not being heeded by either the parade organisers or the Parades Commission and I would challenge both to defend the decisions that they have made regarding the 12th July parade in Newry,” he said.

Meanwhile, éirígí spokesman, Stephen Murney, reacted angrily that the parade has been permitted. “It’s a case of another summer and another lock down for the people of Newry.  Local residents will no doubt be either hemmed into or reluctant to leave their homes because of unionists indulging in a show of sectarian strength in a predominately nationalist area,” he said.

“éirígí fail to understand why this event can be permitted or why part of Newry can be handed over to a sectarian organisation like the Orange Order, simply for a coat-trailing exercise.”