22 April 1996
Sinn Fein's Constituency representative for South Belfast, Sean Hayes has expressed support for the residents of the Lower Ormeau and has described as ``an implicit threat to violence'' the comments of Orange Order leader Martin Smyth who threatened that the Orange Order was prepared ``to break the law'' in pursuance of its triumphalist marches.
Mr. Hayes said:
``There would be absolutely no need for protests or for a repeat of the violence witnessed on the Ormeau Road lately if these unwanted parades were voluntarily re-routed by the Orange Order. Mr. Smyth's comments over what would occur if the Orangemen are not allowed to march on April 28th was an implicit threat of further violence should the RUC decide today to ban the parade.
``This is totally irresponsible of Mr. Smyth at a time when the residents of the Lower Ormeau are living in fear and anxiety and when he has a clear duty to show real and common sense leadership on this issue.''
``This is not a matter of one tradition being sacrificed to the other. It is not a competition but a case of the Lower Ormeau residents being allowed to live in peace without fear of intimidation or threat.''
Sinn Fein Press Office, 44 Parnell Square, Dublin 1
Released in the US by:
Friends of Sinn Fein, 510 C Street, NE, Washington DC 20002