Orange Order ‘disappointed’ as march is routed away from Kevin McDaid murder spot
A decision to reroute an Orange Order march away from the scene of the murder of a Catholic father-of-four has been criticised by the parade organisers.
The Parades Commission ruled that Killowen Orange Lodge annual July 1 Somme remembrance march, through the Heights area of Coleraine, will not pass near the spot where Kevin McDaid (49) was beaten to death last year.
Mr McDaid was attacked close to his home in the Somerset Drive area.
The parade will pass through the lower end of Somerset Drive but has been rerouted away from the murder scene.
Last year the lodge voluntarily avoided marching down the street.
However, Robert McIlreavy from Killowen Orange Lodge described the Parade’s Commission’s decision this week as “disappointing”.
Mr McIlreavy said: “It is a bit disappointing considering the massive steps that the local lodge and community association took to try and get everything back to normality,” he said.
“We thought we had done enough last year to lower tensions.”
But SDLP East Londonderry MLA John Dallat said the Orange Order needs to do more to relieve tension in the area.
He said: “There are still tensions in the area, especially because there have been a lot of discussions amongst the Protestant communities, but not enough cross-community work so that confidence can be rebuilt.”
The SDLP MLA said he has tried repeatedly to meet with the lodge but has got no response.