'Lock down' fears over parade

Tuesday, 4 April 2017

SINN Féin MP Mickey Brady has expressed his fears that a flute band parade arranged for April 21 will have local residents in lockdown.

The event has been organised by the Loyal Sons of Benagh Flute Band and will see up to 84 bands taking part, which Mr Brady said could have a detrimental impact on city trade and commerce.

Expressing his concerns about the potential upheaval placed upon residents, the Newry and Armagh MP said up to 4,000 participants are expected, with supporters on top of that.

He said: "Myself nor the residents are trying to inhibit the right of those organising this band parade to celebrate  their culture, but we do believe that they are not respecting the rights of the residents and businesses."

Mr Brady believes that the parade lacks the unequivocal support of local residents, and said that more needs to be done to allay their concerns over the parade: "This band parade is not welcomed by the majority of local residents and negatively impacts on the local business community.

“Past experiences have shown the way that local residents are placed in "lock down" mode, major traffic disruption and gridlock takes place throughout the city and local businesses suffer."

Encouraging residents to liaise and enage with the Parades Commission about their concerns, Mr Brady said: "Sinn Féin feel that we have an obligation to act on behalf of local residents and businesses who have contacted us and with this in mind elected representatives have communicated our concerns to the Parades Commission.

"I would encourage all residents, political & community representatives who share my concern to contact the Parades Commission. Anyone wishing to discuss the issue is free to contact me," said Mr Brady.

The Loyal Sons of Benagh Flute Band were asked for a response to the claims by the Democrat, but at the time of going to press nobody from the band was available.


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