Armagh Community Constituency Election 2023 Elections Newry and Armagh

TUV Challenges ‘cross-community’ Credibility of St. Patrick’s Parade in Armagh City!

TUV Newry and Armagh representative Keith Ratcliffe has slammed the St Patricks Day event in Armagh City recently as being highly political and partisan.

TUV spokesperson for Newry and Armagh, Keith Ratcliffe said:

“Anyone who witnessed the procession in Armagh last Friday afternoon will have been left in no doubt about the highly political and partisan nature of this event.

“Since 2020, ABC Council shelved their own parade to give precedence to this ‘Cross-Community’ parade, which they have since part-funded.

“Firstly, the idea that this parade was in any way ‘cross-community’ is risible. Unlike in previous years, there where no bands from the Unionist community. In the procession, flags of the world were carried with the notable exception of the Union Flag. Any fair assessment would conclude that this event was highly prejudiced, wrongly using the cover of ‘cross-community’ as a means of legitimisation.

“However, the greatest cause of alarm was the participation of three Republican Flute Bands (Kevin Lynch Memorial Flute Band, Eire Nua Flute Band and Banna Cumhneachain Flute Band). All three of these bands are active in eulogising Republican terrorism.

“The fact that these three bands have travelled to Armagh and have manipulated St. Patrick’s day to promote their bloodthirsty ideology is not only beneath the dignity of the history, culture and people of Armagh City but it is also an insult to all right-thinking people.

“Let’s be clear; Republican terrorists brought nothing but bloodshed and hurt to the streets of Armagh.

“What an injustice, therefore when one considers that this event was subsidised by the public purse!

“In light of this, serious questions must be answered.

“Why, in a Unionist controlled council, has ratepayers money been used to part-fund this event, considering it included the glorification of terrorism? Was funding contingent on the organisers meeting ‘cross-community’ criteria and if so how were council officers satisfied that this criteria was met? Did Council officers have prior knowledge of the participation of these Republican Flute Bands? Where Council representatives on the committee which issued the invites? Was any public money used to pay these bands? And what retrospective action will now be taken?

“Contrast this with a total lack of support from ABC Council for Cormeen Rising Sons of William’s parade later that evening, and the full extent of this scandalous situation becomes clear.

“It’s also disappointing that no Unionist councillors have flagged this issue, however TUV will continue to speak up for the Unionist community of Armagh, even if that means speaking alone.

“I will be writing to the Chief Executive of ABC Council seeking answers.

“You can trust TUV to speak for you.”


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