Ulster Unionist Councillor David Taylor has expressed his anger and disgust at a series of breaches of a Parades Commission determination which occurred during a march held by Republican Group Saoradh in Newry.
Councillor Taylor said:
“I am both angry and disgusted at the series of breaches of a Parades Commission determination committed by Saoradh during a march held in Newry.
“Prior to the event, I had made representations to the Parades Commission outlining my concerns that the march was designed to raise community tensions and inflict further trauma on innocent victims of IRA violence.
“With these issues in mind, it was my strong belief that the event should have been banned by the Parades Commission.
“Unfortunately, my fears were justified as a consequence of the unacceptable events that occurred in Newry. The breaches of the Parades Commission determination included the parade being led by a colour party and banner glorifying IRA terror and the march journeying off the notified route.
“What has occurred is a serious breach of the rule of law and there must be consequences for all those participants who flagrantly disregarded the determinations set out in respect of the march.
“It is clear that the breaches were an attempt by republicans to create confrontation with the police and it continues to highlight the sinister elements that prevail within republicanism.
“I have spoken to the police regarding the issues surrounding the parade. They have confirmed that an investigation has commenced with a view to action being taken against the organisers and participants of the event.
“For the local community to have confidence that the matter is being dealt with in a full and robust manner, the pursuit of prosecutions must take place. Republicans must know they are not above the rule of law.”