DUP and PSNI set to meet over Castlederg

DUP and PSNI set to meet over Castlederg

DUP politicians are set to meet with the PSNI this week to discuss a contentious republic commemoration in Castlederg.

Enterprise Minister Arlene Foster and West Tyrone MLA Thomas Buchanan will meet the Assistant Chief Constable George Hamilton on Tuesday to discuss the policing operation during the parade.

The annual event, called the Tyrone Volunteer Commemoration, takes place in August and remembers the republican dead of the county. A decision was made last year to rotate the parade venue with Castlederg chosen for 2013.

The commemoration is due to be held next Sunday, 11 August - 40 years on from the deaths of Seamus Harvey and Gerard McGlynn, who died when the car bomb they were transporting to Castlederg detonated early.

Earlier, the Parades Commission said that its received 500 emails, letters and telephone calls from many who are "deeply offended by this parade and who oppose it in the strongest terms", as well as some from those who support the commemoration.

On Tuesday, the parade organisers announced that it would be rerouted away from the cenotaph in the village centre and resubmitted their application accordingly.

Two days later, the Parades Commission placed restrictions on the controversial event.

Mr Buchanan said: "The consistent message coming from residents is that the PSNI need to properly police this event.

"People are sick and tired of events where terrorists are paraded as heroes and where the enforcement of Parades Commission determinations seems to be non-existent."

He said that he would be seeking an assurance that the police will be monitoring the Castlederg parade to ensure there are no breaches of the Parades Commission determination.

"There should be no paramilitary garb or other images relating to proscribed organisations. In the circumstances where a proscribed organisation is promoted we will be asking the police what action they will take and about their duty under the Terrorism Act. "


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