The socialist republican party éirígí has described as “completely nonsensical” the news that yet another sectarian band parade is due to take place on Friday [May 8] in the centre of Newry.
This comes just weeks after thousands of unionists brought Newry to a standstill. On that occasion unionist bandsmen attacked a local resident’s car causing damage and fear to the victim. That incident was reported in the local media.
Commenting on the upcoming parade éirígí’s Newry spokesperson Stephen Murney said “We stated just a few weeks ago that this was only the start of Newry being subjected to months of sectarian marches. Now local residents have to endure another one with hundreds of members of the sectarian Orange Order due to take part. There is a real sense of frustration regarding these marches.
“Whilst minor restrictions have been placed on this march, this is by no means sufficient. This march will now simply follow the exact same route as the previous parade last month. In doing so, it will still cause the same disruption to people in Newry.
“Once again the centre of Newry will be shut down as a result of nonsensical decision by the Parades Commission and a major PSNI security operation put in place. Local residents will once again be subjected to unnecessary restrictions on their movements and will have to endure sectarian bands for several hours.
“Indeed one of the bands taking part in this Friday’s parade, The Loyal Sons of Benagh, were responsible for organising last month’s hate fest which saw thousands of band members and supporters descend on the town. On that occasion unionist bandsmen stood drinking on the street, in full view of the PSNI, before attacking a local resident and daughter.”
Reiterating éirígí’s opposition to sectarian marches Stephen said “Unlike others, we in éirígí have been consistent in our opposition to sectarianism in all forms. These parades should be completely banned from Newry rather than have ineffective restrictions in place".