Loyalist parade spokesman: ‘No agreement reached at Sinn Fein meeting’

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Friday, March 16th, 2012
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Representatives of Cormeen Flute band along with DUP MLA William Irwin met a Sinn Fein delegation last night in Armagh Council offices to speak about the contentious loyalist parade due to pass through Armagh on the evening of St. Patrick’s Day. Speaking to Newry Times, Quincey Dougan – organiser of the parade – said a ‘very open and frank discussion took place’.

“The band listened to the concerns of Sinn Fein, then explained its rationale for the band procession and the depth of its preparations, and attempted to respond to and allay their concerns. We stated very firmly our commitment to ensuring the night passed off without incident. Regretfully, no agreement could be reached. Sinn Fein’s sole proposal was the exclusion of the event from the City on St Patrick’s Day. Exclusion has been the root cause of many of the communal problems in Northern Ireland over the past decades, and we feel to reignite another cycle of that nature would be irresponsible.”

Dougan added, “We have however taken the apprehensions of Sinn Fein on board and will make extra efforts to ensure the procession passes peacefully. The way forward to a shared future is acceptance of each others cultural practises and traditions. We would sincerely urge all those in Armagh on Saturday to exercise mutual respect for each other and not repeat mistakes of the past. Mistakes which have benefited no-one.”

Related Articles:
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Loyalist parade spokesman: ‘We respect your rights, you respect ours’
Sinn Fein meet with loyalist St. Patrick’s Day band


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