The latest from éirígí Newry's blog
Newry Handed Over To The Bigots
The freedom of Newry was handed over to sectarian bigots on Friday night [August 27] as thousands of unionist bandsmen and supporters were bussed into the overwhelmingly nationalist city from across the Six Counties for a sectarian coat-trailing exercise.
Putting the impact of this march in its proper setting, during the most recent census in 2001, Newry was found to have a population of 27,433, of whom almost 90 per cent would be viewed as from a catholic/nationalist background.
In the run up to this display of naked bigotry, the organisers proclaimed that “All genres of music will be on parade, which should provide entertainment to suit all musical tastes”.
They forgot to mention Newry being brought to a standstill for several hours with severe traffic disruption; unionists drinking openly in the street, actually outside Ardmore PSNI barracks; the playing of sectarian songs; bands displaying the emblems and flags of unionist paramilitary death squads and nationalists afraid to look out of their windows or venture onto their own streets.
Despite its failure to intervene in any instance of the above, the PSNI was also out in force, sealing off all main roads, which prevented residents and motorists from travelling anywhere near the town centre.
Rúnaí ginearálta éirígí Breandán Mac Cionnaith said: “It’s unreal that, in 2010, nationalists are either hemmed into or are too afraid to leave their homes because of unionists indulging in sectarian intimidation in a predominately nationalist area.
“In recent weeks, unionists erected provocative flags on the outskirts of Newry in an attempt to intimidate nationalists and now they are coming into Newry in their thousands from all across the Six Counties in an exercise of intimidation against nationalist residents.
“The parading of this bigotry by unionism all too often ends in violence, as was seen with the sectarian assault on a middle-aged woman in Ballymena at the weekend. This is the reality that the promoters of sectarian processions need to face up to.
“éirígí will continue to campaign for the right for everyone to live free from sectarian harassment and intimidation.”