SF lashes Parades Commission U-turn

28/06/2004 - 11:49:42

Sinn Féin’s Gerry Kelly has accused the Parades Commission of caving into unionist pressure by reversing its decision to re-route a contentious Orange Order march in Belfast.

The parade was originally routed away from the nationalist Springfield Road due to breaches of the commission’s guidelines at previous marches and the Orange Order’s refusal to speak to local residents.

However, this decision was later reversed.

Speaking about the matter this morning, Mr Kelly said he feared the decision to allow the parade onto the Springfield Road was sparked by unionist warnings about potential violence.

He also said the commission’s U-turn would give unionists and loyalists the impression that they could get other decisions overturned by further threats of violence.

"People are now worried that, if that’s all that has to be done by loyalists and unionists, there’s going to be similar U-turns and very bad decisions like this throughout Belfast and elsewhere," he said.

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