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Parades Commission rejects bid to parade through Strabane town centre on ‘Twelfth’

Thursday, 5 July 2018

Parades Commission rejects bid to parade through Strabane town centre on ‘Twelfth’ thumbnail

A FRESH request by the Orange Order to march through Strabane town centre on the morning of the 'Twelfth' has been rejected by the Parades Commission.
Last month, Strabane District LOL 14 had formally sought permission from the parading body for an early morning parade beginning at 10am on July 12 from the Derry Road to Castle Street, Castle Place up Main Street, down Market Street up Church Street and on to Bowling Green.
Four bands; John Sayers Memorial Band, Barron Accordion Band, Pride of the Derg Flute Band and Pride of William Auld Boys, were listed along with the 100 participants for the parade, which had been described as a hometown feeder parade prior to the main Co Tyrone demonstration in Castlederg.
Similar applications in previous years have been shot down by the Parades Commission NI (PCNI) over fears that giving the go ahead could trigger public disorder.
The Commission, which had deemed the application "sensitive", has now ruled that the march itself will go ahead but with a number of significant restrictions, notably that it will not go through the town centre.
As in previous years, Orangemen and women are banned from going beyond the town's war memorial on the Derry Road, just outside the town centre.
Sensitivities
In reaching its decsion, the PCNI said it had taken into account previous determinations in respect of same adding that it was aware of the sensitivities associated with parading in the Strabane area.
"The Commission has cause to believe that should the parade process the entirety of the notified route, there will be an adverse effect on community relations and a potential for public disorder.
"The conditions imposed are necessary, proportionate and fair in respect of this parade," it stated.
"The Commission continues to encourage all parties to this parading dispute to enter into dialogue to achieve an accomodation which reflects the needs of the local communities."
In imposing the set of restrictions, the Commission said it believed the actions to be "necessary and proportionate" and "strike a fair balance between the needs of the community and the rights of the individual."
As well as being prohibited from going beyond the war memorial, only the four notified bands are permitted to participate with no "undue stoppages or delays". It must begin and end promptly.
Participants have also been warned that they must "behave with due regard for the rights, feelings and traditions of others in the vicinity" and the need for "respectful behaviour" including no singing, chanting or loud drumming has been emphasised by the parading body.
"More generally, no paramilitary-style clothing is to be worn at any time during the parade and flags, bannerettes and symbols relating to a proscribed organisation, shall, in no circumstances be displayed," the Commission's determination added.

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