A pop up residents’ association in Dungiven filed a late objection to an Orange Order parade in the town last June with local police stating several of those named as members were “also members of the Kevin Lynch flute band.”
Police documents released under the Freedom of Information act show a previously unknown group dubbing itself the ‘Roe Valley Residence [sic] Association” officially objected to the annual Dungiven Faith and Crown Defenders LOL 2036 church service on June 9, just five days before it was due to take place.
Correspondence from the new group said it was formed on June 4 and intended mounting a 30 strong protest against the parade outside Dungiven library due to the “failure of Orange Order to communicate with local residence [sic].”
Connell Street in Limavady sent the Parades Commission notes on the planned parade and counter protest warning “potential exists for public disorder.”
Responding to the query: “What is the view of the District Commander [Stephen Martin at the time] on the reasons given for the late notification?” a Limavady PSNI Sergeant declared: “No information to hand regarding this group although it appears that several of those named are also members of the Kevin Lynch flute band in Dungiven.”
A post parade form - which was also released under FOI - shows that despite the residents’ protest the annual Orange Order parade passed off without incident.
“The parade assembled at the notified area and started at 10.02am. 65 Lodge members took part in the parade.
“There were approximately 30 protestors gathered at the Library on Main Street; the parade passed the protestors without incident.
“After the Church Service the parade reformed at 11.17am and paraded to the dispersion point as notified.
“The protestors had dispersed prior to the return leg of the parade,” the police form noted.
There was no disorder, no arrests and no criminal damage.
Meanwhile, back in November 2012, East Londonderry MP Gregory Campbell complained about the conduct of republican bands at the annual Dungiven hunger strike commemoration.
But police documents pertaining to last year’s Orange Order parade show the PSNI do not share his concerns.
“All parades within Dungiven over the last several years have passed off without incident. There have not been any protests in Dungiven,” the PSNI stated.
“No public disorder or damage to property have occurred as a result of parades in Dungiven in recent years,” the police added.
Notwithstanding this the PSNI did recommend that the Parades Commission should “communicate and engage with both communities in the wider Dungiven area to gauge the impact that this parade may have.”
The police stated their intentions during the parade were to respect the human rights of all; ensure police and public safety; ensure the uninterrupted passage of the parade; to control traffic; and to facilitate a peaceful protest.