Anger over “blatantly sectarian songs” played on the streets of Newry

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Sunday, July 16th, 2017
Community, Politics

Sinn Féin Councillor Charlie Casey has filed a complaint with the Parades Commission following an early morning Royal Black Preceptory parade on 13th July in which he said several “blatantly sectarian songs” were played on the streets of Newry by the Markethill Protestant Boys Band.

After saying he witnessed the playing of ‘The Famine Song’, among other inflammatory songs, on Thursday morning, Casey raised the issue with parade stewards and the PSNI.

Marking a clear breach of the Parades Commission’s Code of Conduct, Casey informed the body to ensure that the band in question was contacted and engaged with to prevent provocative incidents such as these undoing the good work achieved through dialogue and mutual respect in recent years.

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“Newry is a diverse and vibrant city, and is home to people of many different cultures and traditions. For years we have sought to ensure that the deeply held beliefs of everyone are respected and accommodated in the hope of embracing a shared future and society”, he said.

“The playing of unnecessary sectarian and blatantly triumphalist songs in Newry’s streets flies in the face of the tolerance and mutual respect which runs through our shared community.

“Not only does ‘The Famine Song’ constitute a flagrant disregard for the respectful conduct required by the Parades Commission, but behaviour of this kind threatens to undo the good will and progress made through dialogue and engagement in recent years.

Casey added, “I have filed an official complaint with the Parades Commission, and expect that action will be taken to ensure that Newry’s citizens are never again subjected to such disrespect and triumphalism.”

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