Sinn Fein MP Mickey Brady is to meet with senior police officials ahead of two planned parades in Newry this weekend.
The addition of a second parade ahead of the Last Saturday demonstration will “add to the inconvenience of residents”, according to the Newry and Armagh MP.
And while he accepts the organisers have “a right to express their cultural identity”, he says will be seeking reassurances surrounding the policing operation around Friday and Saturday’s events.
He has called for steps to be taken to ensure that planned band parades “do not cause unnecessary inconvenience”.
Said Mr Brady: “There is normally a parade organised by the Newry Royal Black District Chapter at this point every year.
“However, the addition of a further parade the day before will only exacerbate the issues experienced by the residents during this parade.
“I plan to meet with senior police in Newry, prior to the weekend’s events to ensure that an appropriate police operation will be carried out around these events.
“Those organising the parades have a right to express their cultural identity.
“However, the organisers need to be cognisant of the fact these parades are not welcome by the majority of the residents in the area it passes through, and they have a responsibility to minimise disruption to the lives of local people.
“In the past these parades have brought serious disruption to traffic and trade in Newry, effectively leaving some residents locked into their homes.
“It is essential that the organisers and the police ensure that emergency and essential services such as carers have access to the areas on the route.”
Meanwhile, County Armagh will host two Last Saturday parades.
• Primatial City (Armagh) – Killylea: act of remembrance at Armagh Orange hall 10am. Service at Kennedies Road, Killylea 11am, followed by a village parade. Twelve preceptories and bands.
• Summerisland (Loughgall): Act of remembrance at Loughgall war memorial 11.30am, followed by a parade through the village to demonstration field for service. Return parade 2.30pm. Ten preceptories and bands.
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