Allister Challenges Parades Commission on Sinn Fein Parade
Following on from his letter to the Chief Constable about the Sinn Fein parade in Dungiven on 5th August TUV leader Jim Allister has today written to the Parades Commission in the following terms:
Dear Mr Osborne,
Re Sinn Fein Parade in Dungiven, 5th August 2012
A member of my party, Councilor Boyd Douglas, had occasion to be in Dungiven when the above demonstration was taking place.
While in Dungiven Cllr Douglas witnessed men dressed in paramilitary style uniforms and others dressed as RUC officers mounting a road block, while carrying replica firearms.
This is in clear breech of Parades Commission guidelines on demonstrations. I therefore write to assertain:
(a) Why a march to commemorate a terrorist was not flagged as being contentious by the Parades Commission?
(b) If there were any monitors from the Commission at the parade?
(c) What the Commission’s view is regarding the paramilitary clothing and replica firearms used at the demonstration?
(c) What ramifications the conduct of the marchers will have for future applications for similar parades by Sinn Fein?
Additionally I would draw your attention to a video which has been posted online (it can be viewed here) which shows bands at the demonstration stopping to play adjacent to Dungiven Church of Ireland and its church hall.
I would be obliged if the Commission could advise me as to what action they intend to take against the bands involved. Surely the Commission will want to be consistent following its recent ruling in relation to a Loyal Order parade in Belfast.