Sinn Fein representatives in Newry are attempting to create tensions in the city ahead of a loyalist band parade, a unionist councillor has claimed.
David Taylor dismissed suggestions that the annual event hosted by the South Down Defenders flute band would cause severe disruption.
The Parades Commission has placed restrictions on the parade, which takes place this Friday night, directing it to begin at 7.15pm with dispersal no later than 10.30pm.
The Ulster Unionist councillor said the band had “a transparent and proven record of organising an extremely efficient and respectable” event.
He said they had consistently endeavoured to ensure “that any disruption to the local community is kept to a minimum”, and added: “The unionist community in Newry are fed up listening to claims from Sinn Fein that they are a party which believes in equality for all, only to find them regularly falling short in displaying such magnanimity to their Protestant neighbours when it comes to their rightful entitlement to display their expression of culture.”
Up to 2,000 people, including 54 bands, are expected to take part in the parade.