Parades Commission: Strabane parade detrimental to community relations

Derek Hussey, UUP, Strabane Council
Derek Hussey, UUP, Strabane Council

Strabane UUP councillor, Derek Hussey, has expressed dismay at the decision to prevent a Twelfth in Strabane.

In a statement Mr Hussey said: “It was with disbelief and sadness that I heard of a determination emanating from the Parades Commission that a procession of LOCAL Orangemen and their Bands could not process through a commercial area in Strabane Town Centre on July Twelfth this year, at the behest of republicans.

“Within council we constantly urge support for town centre businesses. Yet, here we have local people wishing celebrate their Culture within Strabane Town Centre, on a single day in the year, being denied at the behest of republicans who constantly pontificate about ‘shared space’.

“Surely businesses within Strabane town centre have something to say in this regard. Have they been contacted by Sinn Fein and do they agree? Is it the case that, as an Orangeman, I and indeed, my family, are not to be welcomed by businesses in Strabane town centre? If so, is such apartheid acceptable in this part of Northern Ireland?

“The Parades Commission cites that this event ‘would have been detrimental to community relations’. In the view of many throughout our area, the Parades Commission determination supporting republicanism, in this regard, has endorsed a perception of many ‘one-sided’ community relations? It now lies with residents and businesses in Strabane Town Centre to clarify and indeed rectify the position, is Strabane town centre a no go area for some or a shared space?”