[Sinn Fein]

29 June 2001

Parades Commission decision disgraceful

Sinn Fein Councillor Tom Hartley has hit out at the Parades Commission's decision in relation to tomorrow's Orange Order march on the Springfield Road in Belfast.  Cllr. Hartley said:

``This decision is disgraceful.  Not only have the Parades Commission once again totally ignored the wishes and fears of residents of the Springfield Road, but they have rewarded the Orange Order for their past breaches on the parade.

``Both last year and the year before we saw the Orange Order break restrictions placed on them in relation to the playing of sectarian songs.  We also saw a UDA colour party - a group which has killed many nationalists in this area, marching in the Order's parade.  For this the Orange Order has been rewarded.

``What is clear here is that the RUC has intervened politically on behalf of the Orange Order to allow this march to go ahead.

``This is an unacceptable situation for nationalists.  We will continue to support the residents in their opposition to this parade while the Orange Order refuses to enter into dialogue and would call on nationalists to support tomorrow's protest against this march.''

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