East Londonderry MP Gregory Campbell has said attempts to block the annual church parade by local Orangemen in Dungiven demonstrates “opposition towards any public expression of Orange religious identity”.
Mr Campbell said he has written to the Parades Commission as in previous years in support of the local Dungiven Orange Lodge’s 10 minute parade to their annual church service in the town.
“The local Lodge have paraded in Dungiven for a long number of years with no adverse impact of any kind whatsoever,” Mr Campbell said.
He added: “For a number of years the parade has had no bands, no banners, no flags and relatively small number of orangemen numbering around 70.
“Many of the Protestant community have had to move out of Dungiven in recent decades and a memorial to murder has been located right beside the Church of Ireland church where the local Lodge are holding their annual service.
“This together with the offensive banners and murals that are already on the Main Street every day of the year do not show evidence of any concept of a ‘shared space’.
“As I have said in previous years regarding this annual parade by members of the small Protestant community, Nationalists and Republicans representatives in Sinn Fein in Dungiven need to make it clear what their view is towards any public expression of Orange religious liberty.
“There is no reason why any impediment should be placed to prevent this annual Church parade by Dungiven Orangemen from proceeding.”