Residents’ Association still has ‘major concerns’ about Orange parade in Dungiven

Dungiven Faith & Crown Defenders LOL 2036 parade makes it way up Main Street, Dungiven on Sunday.
Dungiven Faith & Crown Defenders LOL 2036 parade makes it way up Main Street, Dungiven on Sunday.

A Concerned Residents’ Association in Dungiven said it still has “major concerns” about an Orange parade in the town, and said talks must continue to resolve issues.

The parade by Dungiven Faith & Crown Defenders LOL 2036 took place on Sunday, without protest from the Dungiven Concerned Residents’ Association.

A protest against the parade in Dungiven in June 2013. (File pic)

A protest against the parade in Dungiven in June 2013. (File pic)

In a statement to the ‘Journal’ on Friday, a spokesperson for the Association said: “The BBC programme ‘The View’ recently highlighted the problems facing Dungiven in regards to the local Orange Order parade. For the avoidance of doubt, and in the interest of clarity, we would like reiterate our view that whilst some movement has been made major concerns still remain and that negotiations will continue until these issues are resolved.

“In the next few weeks we will be holding a meeting to discuss the latest developments and would hope that anyone with concerns, or fresh ideas will attend. The date and venue will be posted on our Facebook page.

“Once again we would like to thank all those who have helped our group over the past years and hope that we can continue on our positive trend.”

The 10-minute long parade is without banners or bands as members walk in silence from New Street to the church on upper Main Street.

Previously, Dungiven Concerned Residents’ Association held peaceful protests during the parade but, after recent talks, agreement was reached no protest would take place this year.

Police presence on Sunday, June 14th was low-key compared to previous years with approximately seven PSNI officers on duty.

A Residents’ Association spokesperson said on Monday through the negotiations they had “received assurances from the Orange Order on how the parade was to be conducted and, as such, we would not hold a protest to allow space for still outstanding issues to be resolved”.

“Regrettably, our trust was misplaced. Our grievance was made clear to The Parades Commission and the mediators who were monitoring the march on the day. Over the coming days we will be assessing the impact of the parade. Even though there is palpable anger over what has transpired we would still like to reiterate our desire to continue or work with the mediation team, or anyone else to resolve this parade,” said the Residents’ Association spokesperson.

Sinn Féin Councillor Sean McGlinchey has emphasised the importance of face-to-face talks when dealing with parades.

“Given that the Concerned Residents’ Association have flagged up concerns after the Church parade through Dungiven last Sunday, it shows the importance of direct dialogue taking place among the relevant organisations, particularly the Orange Order and we are calling for direct face-to-face talks in advance of any future parading applications. It is only through direct dialogue that issues such as these will be resolved,” said Colr. McGlinchey.