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Orange Order parade to 'honour' UDA man 'creating tension'

UDA man Jim Guiney
UDA man Jim Guiney UDA man Jim Guiney

PLANS by the Orange Order to hold a parade to "honour" a UDA member killed by republicans 25 years ago are "creating tension" it has been claimed.

Loyalist Jim Guiney (38) was shot dead at his carpet shop in Dumurry, on the outskirts of west Belfast, by the INLA on January 19, 1998.

At his funeral 16 men, some wearing Orange sashes, flanked his coffin, which was draped in a UDA flag and Glasgow Rangers jersey.

It has now emerged that a local Orange lodge, LOL 1981, plans to hold a memorial parade for Mr Guiney in the Derriaghy area, near Lisburn, on January 21.

Lisburn Fusiliers Flute Band and 90 participants are expected to take part in the parade, which will begin at Milltown shops before making its way to Derriaghy, Milltown Avenue and Milltown Crescent.

The Orange Order has been urged to rethink the planned parade by the mother of a Catholic teenager murdered by loyalists.

Marian Walsh's son Damien (17) was shot dead by the UDA/UFF as he worked at the Dairy Farm shopping centre near Twinbrook, also on the outskirts of west Belfast, in March 1993.

The parade will take place not far from where the teenager was killed and Ms Walsh has branded the plan "insensitive".

"They are willing to do this for a UDA man, regardless of the fact that he is also an Orangeman, I mean, it's approving whatever he did when he was in the UDA," she said.

"I would urge them to rethink it because it's sending out a message that they support paramilitarism."

Sinn Féin councillor Gary McCleave said "the demographics have changed massively out there".

"There are people there from the Colin area who are well aware of what happened Damien," he said.

"As Ms Walsh said, it's totally insensitive and there needs to be a rethink."

Mr McCleave added that he has spoken to some residents who are unhappy with the parade plan.

"And community engagement is key as well because with the change in demographics there I would say the majority of people living in the Milltown area wouldn't want this at all, it's creating tension in the area, which doesn't need to happen," he said.

SDLP councillor Johnny McCarthy said: "I think any sort of commemoration and parade needs to be looked at as to the intentions behind it and the impact it can have on the community."

A post circulated on social media pages linked to the Ulster Political Research Group, which offers analysis to the UDA, said "LOL 1981 based in Lisburn "will be holding a parade in his (Mr Guiney's) honour" later this month.

Mr Guiney was killed just weeks after the INLA shot dead former UVF and LVF commander Billy Wright in the H-Blocks sparking a series of sectarian murders by loyalists.

The Orange Order was contacted for comment.