Councillor urges villages are included in parading talks

Councillor John Finlay
Councillor John Finlay

A DUP councillor has urged that the villages of Rasharkin and Dunloy are included in any overall strategy being developed in relation to talking on parading.

DUP councillor John Finlay also commended the decision by the various unionist parties to withdraw from the all-party talks at Stormont after the Parades Commission decision about an orange parade past the Ardoyne area on 12 July.

He added: “Dunloy has been a no-go area for Protestant parades for a very long time and it was one of the earliest disputed parades. Yet again this Twelfth, my lodge, Dunloy LOL 496, will assemble along with Dunloy Accordion Band in the morning, but we will be prevented from parading to the war memorial to lay our wreath in memory of our dead.”

In Rasharkin, he said, Orangeman have once again been told that they cannot parade through Sunnyside Drive on their return from the Ballymoney demonstration on the Twelfth evening.

“Sunnyside Drive contains some two dozen houses and about ten of these are occupied by Protestants, but the commission has decided to deny these people their civil rights.”

He added: “I know both villages well and I am convinced that a large majority of the decent nationalist community have no difficulty whatever with these small parades on what is the biggest day in the Orange calendar. Yet again, a small militant hard-line republican core is setting the agenda and people are afraid to speak out.”