SF blame ‘unionists from outside Dungiven’ for parade problems

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Protests against an Orange parade in Dungiven at the weekend were the result of Orange men being “bussed in”, Sinn Féin has said.

Sinn Féin councillor Tony McCaul has hit back at unionist critcism of the protests. While he pointed out that “Sinn Féin had no part in organising the protest”, and were there in order to prepare a report for the Parades Commission, he said locals feared the small parade could swell to a “full blown parade with bands etc”.

Councillor McCaul said: “For many years the Dungiven Orange Lodge have had their church parade without hindrance or protest and rightly so. This was never an issue with locals,so why now do local residents feel the need to protest?

“Dungiven LOL for years paraded with about 15 members to their place of worship. Over this past two years this has increased to about 75. They do not have that many members locally. These extra people are bussed in from different areas. Locals are asking what next? A full blown parade with bands etc in a 99 per cent nationalist town?

“The problem is that unionist politicians from outside Dungiven are trying to create a situation which will destroy the good relationships that exist between the nationalist and unionist communities in the town. We will talk now to anyone who has an interest in getting this issue resolved.”