A PARADES Commission decision to re-route a loyalist band parade away from Castlederg’s Lurganboy Road has been welcomed as a “wise decision”.
Castlederg Young Loyalists Flute Band had applied to march along the contentious route on July 11.
It is one of two loyalist parades due to take place in the town on the so-called ‘Eleventh Night’.
Sinn Féin’s Ruairí McHugh said that in the light of “failure” by parade organisers to engage with the wider community, the Parades Commission had made the correct decision.
“The Commission within its determination has clearly emphasised that the failure of the organisers of this parade to enter into any meaningful dialogue with the wider community and political representatives, as well as their provocative behaviour last year, has resulted in the re-routing of this parade away from the Lurganboy Road area which comes within yards of the nationalist Castlefin Park estate.
“This is a wise decision given the snubbing of invitations by myself and others to the organisers to sit down and discuss the contentious nature of these parades.”
Cllr McHugh added however that reservations remained about determinations pertaining to the other July 11 parade and two further marches on July 13.
“On one hand the Commission cites lack of dialogue with the community in making a determination to re-route a parade away from Lurganboy Road yet seems to disregard the same lack of dialogue with residents and businesses of the Ferguson Crescent area on July 13 morning where they have placed only minor restrictions.
It is also incomprehensible that another parade July 11 evening is permitted to parade until 10.45pm, culminating on Parkview Road where elderly residents are living.
“The fact of the matter is the only way to resolve contentious parades in Castlederg is for the organising bodies to enter into constructive dialogue with the local community and I would again call on all sections of political unionism to show leadership and engage with myself and other representatives on these issues.”