Republican News · Thursday 15 June 2000

[An Phoblacht]

Derry DUP stunt flops

Attempts by the DUP to heighten tension at Derry's Civic parade last Saturday 10 June failed when only a handful of loyalist protesters turned out.

The protest was directed at the recently elected Sinn Féin mayor of Derry Cathal Crumley, who was to view the parade.

In the aftermath of Crumley's election, the DUP's William Hay called for the parade to be rerouted while Hay and party colleague Gregory Campbell encouraged loyalists to boycott the event.

The Civic Parade is a non-political event organised by the city's Junior Chamber of Commerce and sets off from the Dungiven Road in the Waterside area of Derry and goes to the Guildhall Square.

It was while appearing at the Dungiven Road area that about 30 loyalist youths, in their mid to late teens, turned out to heckle Crumley.

According to the events organisers between 12,000 and 14,000 people lined the streets to watch the 28 floats. The DUP-inspired boycott, if it happened at all, had very little impact.

Speaking afterwards, the new mayor pointed out that the Waterside, ``despite what the DUP says, is not a unionist area, there is a large nationalist population in the Waterside. Secondly, I had fully intended to attend the parade and was not going to allow the DUP dictate what events I should or should attend''.

Added Sinn Féin chairperson Mitchel McLaughlin, ``I would call on the unionist people of Derry not to be lead down any blind alleyways by Gregory Campbell and William Hay.''

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