A planned band parade organised by the Loyal Sons of Benagh Flute Band which would see 84 bands take to the Belfast Road in Newry on 21 April has been criticised by Newry and Armagh MP Mickey Brady who claims that it will cause "major inconvenience to local residents, businesses and the entire city of Newry" The Loyal Sons of Benagh hold a parade annually in Newry in April.

The MP in a statement said "There is a major band parade planned for Friday 21st April in Newry. The parade is being organised by the Loyal Sons of Benagh Flute Band. I have been contacted by local residents who have been informed that 84 bands and 4,000 participants are expected"

The Loyal Sons of Benagh.
The Loyal Sons of Benagh.

and he continued "Myself nor the residents are trying to inhibit the right of those organising this band parade to celebrate  their culture, but we do believe that they are not respecting the rights of the residents and businesses.

"This band parade is not welcomed by the majority of local residents and negatively impacts on the local business community.

"Past experiences have shown the way that local residents are placed in "lock down" mode, major traffic disruption and gridlock takes place throughout the city and local businesses suffer.   

"Sinn Féin feel that we have an obligation to act on behalf of local residents and businesses who have contacted us and with this in mind elected representatives have communicated our concerns to the Parades Commission.

"I would encourage all residents, political & community representatives who share my concern to contact the Parades Commission. Anyone wishing to discuss the issue is free to contact me"