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Tensions mount ahead of contentious three day Newry parade

Tensions are mounting in Newry after it emerged that five parades will march through the city over a period of three days at the end of August.

Parts of Newry will be closed during the parade

éirígí in Newry have expressed their opposition to the parade, describing it as “yet another sectarian show of strength in the area”. éirígí insisted that the city will be placed under siege to “allow three days of unionist triumphalism”.

From Friday 24th August until Sunday 26th August, a total of five parades will take place through the streets of Newry, with over 3,000 participants and 50 bands taking part. It will begin with the South Down Defenders Flute Band, who according to éirígí, will be transporting in thousands of unionist bandsmen and supporters into the city from across the country.

Stephen Murney, the local spokesperson for the socialist republican party in the Newry area, said, “Just last month we had thousands of unionists accompanied by dozens of bands descending on Newry leaving the area a virtual ghost town. Band members and participants shouted insults at local people observing and even rushed to attack a local photographer.”

“A massive security operation sealed Newry off and most people couldn’t go about their daily business. I have no doubt that this upcoming sectarian ritual will mean the same for the nationalist people of Newry.”

Murney continued, “Before and after the 12th July our party were inundated with complaints from local people who are sick and tired of this happening time and time again. The fact that this next disruptive demonstration will take place over a three day period will mean that many nationalist people in Newry will have to endure an entire weekend of sectarian intimidation and bigotry.”

Last month's parade passed off peacefully through Newry

“The annual Friday night sectarian procession is well known for bringing Newry to a standstill for several hours with severe traffic disruption; unionists drinking openly in the street, actually outside Ardmore PSNI barracks; the playing of sectarian songs; bands displaying the emblems and flags of unionist paramilitary death squads and nationalists afraid to look out of their windows or venture onto their own streets.”

He added, “Newry will once again be handed over to the bigots. We in éirígí deeply oppose such sectarian rituals and we call for an end to sectarian organisations being permitted to proceed through overwhelmingly nationalist towns such as Newry.”

However, DUP South Down Assemblyman Jim Wells believes the parades are a great addition to Newry. Speaking to Newry Times, he commented,

“I welcome this expression of my culture in Newry and I hope that South Down Defenders have a really successful series of parades. I also hope that many people from Newry and further afield come to the city to enjoy the excellent music and support the band.”

Speaking about the importance of the ‘band culture’ to Newry and the country, Wells added, “One of the good things about living in Northern Ireland is the vibrant band culture. We probably have more bands of all traditions than any other part of the United Kingdom and it is really good news for Newry that South Down Defenders are providing this extended opportunity for the community to enjoy their music.”

More on this story:

Mixed reception to Newry Orange parade

Newry Orange parade passes off peacefully

Sinn Féin meet PSNI regarding Newry 12th Parade

Residents raise flag concern ahead of contentious Newry Orange parade

‘Expect traffic delays and diversions’ – PSNI ahead of controversial Newry Orange parade

Unionist politicians call for ‘tolerance and respect’ for Newry Orange parade

Tension mounts as Newry gets set for Orange parade

Short URL: https://newrytimes.com/?p=20919

Posted by on Aug 8 2012. Filed under Community, News. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. You can leave a response or trackback to this entry

13 Comments for “Tensions mount ahead of contentious three day Newry parade”

  1. Davy

    Unbelievably, we cant these sectarian bigots parade around their own backward villages were they are welcome instead of annyoying residents and disrupting business in Newry.

    I am sure the unionist people in Newry are also sick of this disruption. Its not even the 12th!

  2. Paul

    Why dont Newry Chamber of Commerce/Sinn Fein/SDLP lead protests instead of allowing Eirigi to take the lead on this?

    Newry people from both sections of the community are tired of this takeover every other weekend throughout the summer. None of these “bands” are from the town. Why do they feel the need to parade here so frequently?


  3. Stephen


    Are éirígí not allowed to speak out against sectarian bigotry? Are only the SDLP and SF allowed to oppose sectarianism?

    A ridiculous comment

    I agree with the 2nd part of your post though

    • Paul


      Eirigi are associated with dissident republicans who are targetting GAA men in the PSNI. Most Newry folk would not want to be associated with these groups.

      • Joe

        I think you need to use your optics and do a bit of research Paul before you start making bold statements like that. Éirígí are a Socialist Republican party, hence being a party they do not target anyone nor do they support armed conflict while the conditions for it do not exist. Being a Socialist party they do, and rightly so oppose the apparatus’s of British Imperialism but they also have an Internationalist dimension and oppose all forms of Imperialism. You make it sound as though being a republican and exposing and standing up for human rights is a crime, but maybe your just happy to accept the System the seeks to exploit you. Your attempt to justify why Newry people wouldn’t be happy with éirígí lacks credibility and is a fabrication of your misconceptions.

        BTW I am not a member just pointing out the facts.

  4. Joe

    Éirígí have actively opposed these coat trailing exercises every time our town has been used as a stage by loyalists seeking to assert loyal/protestant supremacy and cause provocation. They are the only party as far as I am concerned with a bit of back bone, actually engaging and addressing the concerns of working class people in this town and I commend them for doing so. Why Sinn Féin hasn’t spoke up about this; probably due to the fact that they are now a reformist party actively engaging in British constitutional politicking.

  5. Newry Unionist

    I’m glad we can wind up the “Majority Nationalist Newry”. We can march where ever we want because we are the “Majority of Ulster”!

    Get over it! We are the people!

  6. Stephen

    Newry Unionist,

    You can’t march where you want….Garvaghy Rd?…….Lower Ormeau??….you can’t march there anymore !!!!!!!!!

    Although it’s views and comments like yours that’s part of the problem, and in a way your actually proving éirígí’s point when they talk about “unionist triumphalism”, as that’s exactly what your comment was based on

  7. Robert

    Stephen Murney claimed – ‘Nationalists afraid to look out of their windows or venture on to their own streets’ – I think you’ll find ALL residents of Newry being afraid to do this when cavemen dissidents are bombing the heart out of Newry or abandoning car bombs all over the place. His sheer hyprocrisy about Newry being brought to a standstill when his fellow ‘comrades’ are bombing or attempting to bomb Newry is staggering – did he try to venture into the town after the Courthouse bomb attack, the Santander bomb attack, the abandoned bomb down the Fathom Line…………..Joe can you please stop trying to insult our intelligence regarding eirigi – I’ve just looked out the window and all the dogs in our street are rolling around in hysterics at some of your comments. Newry Unionist (if you are actually for real and not someone at the wind up) please go away and grow up – we can well do without your idiotic comments 🙁

    • Paul


      Two wrongs dont make a right. This is exactly why I suggested Newry Chamber of commerce should lead protests and come to some sort of arrangement rather than Newry shutting down for 3 days, yet again this summer.

  8. Martin

    Robert that’s a very dangerous comment to make alledging that stevens “comrades” are planting bombs. Can you prove that? cos if you can’t he coud have a legal case

  9. […] Times last week exclusively revealed that tensions were mounting in Newry after it emerged that the border city would play host to three […]

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