[Sinn Fein]

16 October 1997

No comparison between GAA and sectarian marches

Sinn Fein Mid Ulster MP Martin McGuinness has warned against expanding the remit of the Parades Commission to cover GAA fixtures and other aspects of Irish culture and sport.

Mr. McGuinness said:

``Suggestions that the British government is considering including GAA activities and other aspects of Irish cultural life in the remit of the Parades Commission is folly in the extreme.

``For any British government to even contemplate providing extreme Unionism, which has a clear history of total opposition to all things Irish, with legislation which they will attempt to use as an excuse for a return to the old Stormont system of political and cultural apartheid, beggars belief.

``There can be no equating Irish national culture, which embraces all strands of Irish society, with sectarian triumphalist Orange parades which attempt to impose a political ethos on sections of society to which it is objectionable.

``Nationalists will not tolerate any further erosion of our cultural and civil right to foster our national sports and culture in order to appease extreme unionism.''

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