[Sinn Fein]

21 March 2000

Sinn Fein says Dublin Lord Mayor's invitation to Orange Order gives succour to Siege of Garvaghy Road

The Sinn Fein Group on Dublin City Council has called for an urgent meeting with the Lord Mayor of Dublin to clarify if she has officially invited the Orange Order to march in Dublin on 28 May. Issuing a civic invitation to the Orange Order two years into the Drumcree siege ``gives succour to the Siege of Garvaghy Road'',

Sinn Fein Councillor Larry O'Toole said: ``This is the first the Sinn Fein Group on Dublin City Council has heard about the event. Sinn Fein is seeking clarification from the Lord Mayor as to whether she has actually invited the Orange Order on behalf of the people of the City of Dublin.

``The Lord Mayor has to be careful that she - and the people and the City of Dublin that she represents - are not being used as a public relations trick by the Orange Order which is still laying siege to Garvaghy Road.

``The Orange Order march in Dublin cannot be seen in isolation from the siege of the Garvaghy Road and other contentious parades throughout the Six Counties. That nightmare siege has been going on for two years with no let-up by the Orange Order - the same people who are asking for the freedom to march through Dublin.

``It has to be rememberd that, a matter of weeks after parading in Dublin, the Orange Order will try and bulldoze their way through a nationalist area against the wishes of the people who live there. For the Lord Mayor of Dublin to invite the Orange Order to march in Dublin is like the state governor inviting the Ku Klux Klan to march in Alabama.'' If the march goes ahead without the siege of the Garvaghy Road being lifted then Sinn Fein will call for non-violent and dignified protests in solidarity with the people of the Garvaghy Road. ENDS

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