TUV Councillor Boyd Douglas has hit out those protesting an Orange parade in Dungiven yesterday morning, saying that he has taken part in the parade for 40 years without incident.
Councillor Douglas said that he attended the Church Service in Dungiven Presbyterian on Sunday following the short walk from the Parish Church and stated that he has “attended this Church service for the past forty years and there has not been any protest or concerns raised by anyone until last year when about 25 protesters stood with their backs to the parade.”
Mr Douglas said: “The short parade has always been held at 10 am in recent years and there has not been any traffic disruption and since there is no band most residents were still in bed and unaware that a parade was taking place.
“It is evident that Sinn Fein are responsible for the increase in protesters this year following Mr McGlinchey’s comments in the local press last week when he said that it was diabolical that the Parades Commission had not contacted local politicians or Community Groups.
“Councillors McGlinchey, McCaul, Donaghy and Brenda Chivers were all in attendance and also MLA Cathal Hasson (sic) with a number of them video recording the parade.
“Surely it now time for Sinn Fein to show some respect for the wider Protestant community and tolerance for their culture and heritage. I don’t think that the majority of the Nationalist community are opposed to this short parade which lasts 20 minutes per year.
“Sinn Fein has been shouting for equality for years but seem to forget that others are entitled to that same equality. They also indicate that they want a shared future but it would appear that they don’t want to share it with the Protestant community.”
Councillor Douglas’ comments follow condemnation from both the DUP’s Gregory Campbell and the UUP’s Aaron Callan.