‘Expect traffic delays and diversions’ – PSNI ahead of controversial Newry Orange parade
Police in Newry are advising motorists of traffic disruption in the city on Thursday as the Twelfth of July parade takes place. Motorists should expect delays in the Belfast Road, Downshire Road and Carnbane Way areas between 12 noon and 6pm and should allow extra time for their journeys.
A spokesman for the PSNI spoke to Newry Times and said, “If you are not attending the event you are advised to use an alternative route. Diversions will be in place and we would ask for your patience.”
The contentious parade, believed to contain nearly 40 bands from the Newry District LOL no 9 lodge, has been slammed by local political representatives and organisations in the past week, who claim it will stir up ‘sectarianism’ and negatively impact on local residents and businesses. Sinn Féin representatives in Newry have made a written submission to the Parades Commission regarding the application.
Speaking to Newry Times last week, Newry MLA Mickey Brady said,
“I want to make it clear that Sinn Féin are not proposing a blanket ban on band parades however when a proposed band parade is not wanted by the majority of local residents and negatively impacts on the local business community we feel that we have an obligation to act on behalf of those people.
“For this reason we have time and again requested, through the Parades Commission, to meet with the organisers of this parade so that we can put the concerns of the community directly to them. To date this meeting has not been facilitated.”
Police in Newry also reminded anyone attending this years Twelfth of July parade in Newry to be mindful of the law around street drinking. Neighbourhood Inspector David Hutchinson said: “During the past few years we have worked closely with the Orange Order, other parade and event organisers and partners to tackle the problem of drinking at public events and we have seen on street drinking drop to very low levels with only 12 units of alcohol seized at last year’s event.”
“We want to do even better this year and while we want people to enjoy themselves, we would stress that they must do so safely and legally. We are sending out a very clear message that drinking either on the parade route or on the street is illegal and officers will not hesitate to enforce legislation and bye-laws. Officers on patrol will confiscate alcohol being consumed illegally and report people to local councils, the PPS, or Youth Diversion Officers.”
Inspector Hutchinson added: “We would also urge people planning to go out to any of the local bars to drink in moderation. Often when people drink excessively there can be a tendency for instances of anti-social behaviour and assaults to rise. No one in Newry wants to see that happen. We want people to have a good day out but to do it with consideration for others.”
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