The Dungiven Residents Group are ‘very unhappy’ that yet again the Orange Order have applied to increase the numbers of participants in their annual Church parade through Dungiven on June 12th.
A spokesperson for the Residents Group said : “Over the past number of years there has been contention with this parade going through, what is a largely Nationalist/Republican town without any consideration for the residents. Last year there was an understanding that there would be no more changes to the annual parade and the residents took a decision not to protest.”
“However, some within the community expressed the view that they would be worried that the numbers, style and format of the parade would change in future years. Their main worry was that the parade would grow in numbers and that this would cause extra security measures to be put in place with the net result being the disruption to the lives of those who live in Dungiven. As the Orange Order intends to increase their numbers this year it appears that the fears of these residents have become a reality. These ongoing changes cannot go unchallenged.”
“The Dungiven Residents Group are not trying to inhibit the right of the Orange Order to celebrate their culture but they do believe that the Orange Order are not respecting the rights of the residents of Dungiven by the refusal of the Order to enter into dialogue over this disputed parade.”
“Therefore we would ask the Parades Commission to agree that they would look unfavourably at any future application for this parade if:
- It exceeds the number that they have applied for this year (which is 80) and,
- If the style or format of the parade was to be changed in any way without the prior agreement of the residents of Dungiven.
“We wish to make it clear that we do not want to deny anybody’s cultural rights but with those rights comes responsibilities and in this case that includes speaking to the residents of Dungiven.”