‘Republican protest took positive focus off Torch visit’ – Casey
Outgoing Lord Mayor for Newry and Mourne, Councillor Charlie Casey has said a republican protest outside Pairc Esler last night has taken away from a great sporting event.
Casey was speaking after a peaceful protest by republicans was held outside the ground, with republicans highlighting prison conditions in Maghaberry Prison as well as republican prisoner Marian Price.
Speaking to Newry Times, Casey said, “It was a day of celebration for Newry as we welcome the Olympic Torch to our city. At yesterday’s ceremony we have present the cream of our local sporting and community sectors as well as local elected representatives from all political parties.”
“This protest has to some extent taken the positive focus off the Olympic Torch visiting Newry, and while the issue of prisoners will be one which resonates with many people in Newry, I do feel that there are other more effective ways of effecting change with regards the ongoing prison dispute.”
He added, “I think that people will not let this small protest take the shine off the wonderful welcome which the people of Newry & Mourne have given the Olympic Torch and I know that the vast majority of people, while they may be sympathetic to the prisoners issue, have enjoyed this event for what it is.”
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