West Tyrone Sinn Féin -- Building an Ireland of Equals

Orange parades issue in Omagh must be addressed.

Published: 22 July, 2008

Sinn Féin Omagh town councillor Sean Begley has said the issue of orange parades in Omagh must be addressed. He also said Orangefest have a long way to go if they are serious about trying to repackage the 12th of July marches following a number of incidents in Omagh over the 12th.

Councillor Begley claimed that on the 12th of July a number of Orange Bands in Omagh played 'the sash' outside premises in John Street and alleged that there were disturbances in Omagh town centre involved an Orange band after the parade.

Speaking Sean Begley said

"We need to have a whole new look at Orange parades in Omagh. Of particular concern are parades going through the areas of John and James Street. Over the 12th of July we had further incidents whereby certain orange bands stopped outside premises in the John Street area and played 'The Sash'. This is unacceptable and was an act of provocation.

"Furthermore the erection of Flags in the Market street area in the centre of Omagh Town is completely unacceptable. Omagh District Council has worked hard alongside other social partners in trying to open up the main street of Omagh and redevelop it. We have worked hard to ensure that Omagh town is a shared space for all. The presence of these flags works against all of the good work already done and will have an adverse effect on investors and shoppers alike.

"Following the parade in Omagh on 12th of July there was anti social behaviour involving one of the bands taking part in the parade. The disturbance took place in Omagh town centre and involved the PSNI being deployed to quell the situation.

"If the incidents in Omagh are anything to go by it is clear that Orangefest have a long way to go in order to change the image of 12th of July parades in the north of Ireland."ENDS