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Mayor of Newry & Mourne Charlie Casey
SF raise concerns over 3 days of parading in Newry:
Sinn Féin MLA Mickey Brady met with the Parades Commission and the PSNI to highlight community concerns around Unionist Parades scheduled to take place in Newry City on 24th, 25th and 26th August. The Parades, organised by the South Down Defenders and the Royal Black Preceptory will mean road closures across Newry on the Summer Bank Holiday weekend. Mr Brady described the meeting with the Parades Commission on 14th August as important but frustrating saying, "I have received complaints from people living along this route who fear that they will be forced to stay in their houses for much of the weekend. "I have also spoken to business people who are concerned that trade will be badly affected due to road closures and customers avoiding the area. "During the recent 12th July parades large parts of Newry were restricted with parking cones to facilitate marchers and bands. There was no consultation with residents in advance of this and I fear that this will again be the case for these marches. "I am calling on the South Down Defenders and the Royal Black Preceptory to meet with me and some local residents to discuss a fairer approach for everybody. To date I have not received any feedback from these groups. "In my opinion the Parades Commission does not fully understand the feelings of local residents or the business community affected by these parades which are increasing in frequency. I have made them aware that those living on the route have not been consulted by the parade organisers and I hope they will act on this." Describing his meeting with the PSNI the following day Mr Brady said, "I also met with senior police officers on Wednesday and they have given me assurances that the minimum number of streets will be affected by closures. I also insisted that local residents need to be facilitated as much as possible for access in and out of their homes. The PSNI have said they will facilitate this and that they will be monitoring the conduct of those participating in the marches." "
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