MEMBERS of Dunloy Lodge have again vented their anger at being unable to parade to lay a wreath at the Presbyterian Church in the village to honour their dead.
As has been the case for years the Lodge and band have had restrictions imposed on them by the Parades Commission which only allows them to walk a short distance from their Orange hall on the Station Road.
In a statement to the Times, North Antrim DUP MLA Mervyn Storey called on Orange Brethren, politicians and Unionist Community not to forget the disgraceful plight of the denial of Civil and Religious Liberty on our door step.
Commenting ahead of the Annual 12th of July demonstrations Mervyn Storey said: “While the vast majority of parades will go unhindered on the 12th day, we should not forget that in Dunloy in my North Antrim Constituency there will be yet again the denial of the local Orange Lodge and Band to parade to their Act of Remembrance at the local Church before heading to the main demonstration in Ballycastle. It is regrettable and still unacceptable that the Parades Commission are still imposing its draconian and dictatorial restrictions on this walk to Church.
“It is all the more insulting that in this year when as a Nation we remembered the fallen of the Somme, that the Orange Brethren in Dunloy are refused to walk a short distance to lay a wreath in memory of those who died to protect freedom, the very freedom denied to the Orange Brethren in Dunloly.
“I again call on all concerned to work to ensure that this is last year of this disgraceful situation and that every effort is made to have the end of the parades commission and the reestablishment of the dignified, respectful and peaceful parade by the Orange Brethern to Church in Dunloy.”
On Tuesday, John Finlay, also read a prepared statement to a PSNI officer. In it he said: “On behalf of the members of LOL 496 as we gather here in Dunloy on the 12 July 2016, I wish to place on record our disgust and dismay that, yet again, we are being denied our democratic right to peacefully exercise our civil and religious liberties. We are greatly frustrated and saddened that there are those in our community whose intolerance is such that they will not allow their Protestant neighbours to walk in the village on this key day in the marching season.
“We are further frustrated and saddened by the willingness of the Parades Commission to keep pandering to that intolerance and to keep appeasing those who threaten opposition to our traditional parade.
“The refusal to allow us to parade a short distance to the Church to lay our wreath in memory of our glorious dead reflects extremely badly on those within the Parades Commission who have made the determination. They should hang their heads in shame.
“As law-abiding members of the Loyal Orange Institution, we have no desire to confront the forces of law and order, but we are both angered and hurt by the decision to restrict us here this morning. The fact that we are required to go through this same process each year should not be taken as an indication that we have now accepted the situation or that we have somehow weakened in our resolve. Far from it. We will never accept this situation.”