[Sinn Fein]

22nd June 1999

Long March: Attempt to heighten tension

Statement from Sinn Fein Assembly member for Upper Bann Dr. Dara O'Hagan responding to a statement from Fraser Agnew one of the organisers of the proposed march across the six counties.

Dr. O'Hagan said:

``The fundamentalist language used by Mr. Agnew in his statement underlines the supremacist nature of the loyal orders and the organisers of this so called Long March. It is clear from the language of Mr. Agnew that this march has nothing to do with civil rights or equality. It clearly has more to do with forcing sectarian parades through areas where they are not wanted.

``It is also clear from Mr. Agnew's statement that in addition to the loyalist march across the six counties a series of Drumcree support rallies will be held along the route on a nightly basis. This is clearly a bid to increase sectarian tension in the lead up to the Drumcree parade and not about human rights as claimed by the organisers.

``The Orange Order must realise that they can no longer hide behind stunts like their Long March or the supremacist language of their spokespersons. They must enter into dialogue with communities with whom they wish to host their parades.''

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