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Cool heads needed to ensure progress made in Londonderry parading situation is not lost - Swann

The Ulster Unionist Party Leader Robin Swann MLA has a led a delegation to meet with senior Police Officers at PSNI HQ in Belfast, to discuss concerns arising from the policing operation at Saturday’s Apprentice Boys parade in Londonderry.

Mr Swann was accompanied by the Party’s Policing Board representative Alan Chambers MLA, East Antrim MLA Roy Beggs and Londonderry Councillor Darren Guy.

Following the meeting, Robin Swann MLA said:

“This morning we had a meeting with the Deputy Chief Constable and two Assistant Chief Constables to discuss some of our concerns arising from the policing operation at Saturday’s Apprentice Boys parade in Londonderry.

“I was present at Duke Street on the day and saw at first hand some aspects of their policing operation on the ground that were unhelpful to say the least, and I took the opportunity to ensure that senior officers were made aware of these.   

“It goes without saying that both I and the Ulster Unionist Party fully support the police and upholding law and order. It is precisely because I support the police, that I will highlight in a constructive manner, any mistakes that I see in order to ensure they are not repeated and that lessons are learned.

“The Police have agreed to look at several issues which we raised with them regarding the police handling of events on the day.

“It is now time to repair the damage that has been done to relationships and all sides must get round the table – the Police , Apprentice Boys, residents and all other interested parties – to re-establish trust and respect going forward.

“Londonderry has been a model of agreement in terms of parades and commemorations and the situation there is much improved from where it once was, with Loyal Order parades in the city taking place in a much calmer atmosphere than used to be the case. It is absolutely vital that the progress that has been made is not put in jeopardy and what is needed now is cool heads.”      

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