A band parade due to take place in Rasharkin this Friday evening has had conditions imposed upon it by the Parades’ Commission.
The parade, which is hosted by local flute band, Ballymaconnelly Sons of Conquerors, has been contentious for a number of years now and has been increasingly restricted by Parades Commission determinations.
The conditions imposed upon the parade are as follows :
- Dervock Young Defenders Flute Band are not permitted to attend.
- No music is to be played whilst passing the protests in the centre of the village
- The parade must begin at 7pm and disperse at 9pm
- No flags other than the Scottish Saltire, St Patrick’s Cross, Ulster Banner, Union Flag, Orange Standard and Band Flags / Banners are to be carried. Flags, banners and symbols relating to proscribed organisations are prohibited.
Speaking about the banning of Dervock Young Defenders from this parade, UUP Councillor Darryl Wilson said : “Yet another ludicrous decision by the parades commission to not permit Dervock Young Defenders to take part in Ballymaconnelly’s parade on Friday night. Their reasons and rational are extremely weak, citing “perceived provocative conduct” once again the PC pander to the intolerant republican agenda. This decision is wholly unacceptable and should be overturned.
The move was however welcomed by Sinn Fein MLA Daithi McKay, who said :
“Local residents made a presentation to the Parades Commission last week asking that the Dervock Young Defenders band not be allowed to take part in this Friday night’s parade in Rasharkin owing to the behaviour of some members of the band in the past.
“I am glad to see the Parades Commission has taken their views into consideration when making their determination.
“The decision not to allow this band to take part will reduce tensions around the parade this year, as will the restrictions on flags.
“While these determinations are welcome, the local community need to see a resolution to this issue.
“There is a real need for dialogue between residents and the organisers of the parade to address the outstanding issues.”
The determination can be viewed in full here : http://paradescommissionni.flexigrant.com/downloadfileexternal.aspx?dsid=146916