West Tyrone Sinn Féin -- Building an Ireland of Equals

Sinn Féin raises serious concerns over 'Union Flag Protest and Parade' for Castlederg

Published: 22 January, 2013

Sinn Féin, in a written submission to the Parades Commission, has raised a number of serious concerns about a Union Flag Parade and Protest, that has been filed for in Castlederg this Friday evening.

Pat Doherty MP who co-signed the pre-determination submission with other local Sinn Fein representatives said,

"There is considerable trepidation in the area about this Union Flag Parade and Protest and it must be said that the widespread concerns that have been expressed to me and other Sinn Fein representatives are not solely coming from within the republican/ nationalist community.

"With word on the ground is that Willie Fraiser and Jamie Bryson are to address the protesters and obviously there is a serious concern, given these individuals previous pronouncements, that inciteful language would be used to inflame tensions and that the local community would then be left to pick up the pieces when these individuals have long gone.

"In our party submission we have therefore requested that the Parades Commission has monitors present to not only observe the conduct of the band parade but to monitor the content of any speeches which could have the potential to adversely impact upon community relations.

Continuing Ruairí Mc Hugh said,

"While we recognise the right for people to democratically protest we strongly stated our view to the Parades Commission that Castlederg already has far too many band parades and further questioned the motivation of the organisers by staging such a highly contentious event in this majority republican/nationalist town.

"We also impressed upon the Parades Commission that the beginning and ending times of this event be strictly adhered to and that there be no undue stoppages particularly at the junction of Main Street and Ferguson Crescent.

"In its determination to allow this event to proceed the Parades Commission has issued strict guidelines to its organisers in terms of Codes of Conduct and we will be closely monitoring the conduct of speakers and participants to see if these guidelines are fully adhered to.