Loyal Orders should follow Dungiven example - MLA

East Derry Sinn Féin MLA Cathal Ó hOisín said Unionists know that there is “no comparison between the antics of the Loyal Order parades past St Patrick’s Church and that of a republican commemoration in Dungiven”.

“Unionists, instead of facing up to and tackling the sectarianism on display outside St Patrick’s Church, are attempting to divert attention with reference to a republican parade in Dungiven,” he said yesterday.

“There is no comparison between the republican commemoration and the sectarian behaviour by Loyal Order parades outside St Patrick’s.

“In Dungiven there was no parade determination because there had been dialogue with all concerned prior to the parade.

“There were no objections to the parade. There was no stopping outside the church to play sectarian tunes. There was no drunken supporters or bandsmen hurling abuse at residents. And contrary to reports there was no church service or mother and toddler group happening during the parade, as confirmed by the church minister.”

Referring to an interview last mnth in the Derry Journal, with Church of Ireland minister, Reverend David McBeth, he said: “Indeed the Reverend David McBeth of the Church of Ireland has already stated that there is good relationships in the town and that there has been no issue with parades.”

Mr Ó hOisín continued:“The reality is that Dungiven is very near 100% nationalist yet the two parades that normally take place each year are a republican one and a Loyal Order parade.

“If the Loyal Orders followed the example set by Dungiven, then perhaps we would no longer have issues with the few remaining contentious parades or the recent sectarianism witnessed at St Patrick’s Church.”