West Tyrone Sinn Féin -- Building an Ireland of Equals

Sinn Fein comment on unionist criticism of Castlederg Republican commemoration

Published: 18 July, 2013

In response to criticism from unionist parties about Castlderg being the venue for this year's Tyrone Volunteer Commemoration on Sunday 11th August Sinn Féin West West Tyrone MLA Barry Mc Elduff said,

"The Tyrone Volunteers' Commemoration is always a poignant and dignified event held to honour the memory of the republican dead of this county and the organisers will ensure that this continues to be the case.

"Last year the Tyrone Commemoration Committee made a decision to rotate the event to different areas around the county in line with the template of the Annual National Hunger Strike Commemoration.

"Castlederg was chosen to host this year's event as it marks the landmark 40th Anniversary of the tragic deaths of two local republicans Seamus Harvey and Gerard McGlynn.

"In response to criticism now coming from various unionist parties about this upcoming event we would point to the fact that, year in, year out, Castlederg witnesses a disproportionately large volume of Loyalist/Loyal Order Parades which proceed through the commercial centre of the town without hindrance or objection from the resident majority nationalist/republican community despite the frequent and prolonged inconvenience caused throughout the marching season.

"Are the various unionist parties now attempting to tell this same community that it has no equal right to parade in the same 'shared space' that is Castlederg town centre.

"Finally, it is ironic that the DUP MLA Tom Buchanan, as a member of the loyal orders, has no qualms about contacting and seeking to meet Parades Commission about this upcoming event while at the same time his party is saying it does not recognise the same Parade's Commission's legitimacy.