Ballymoney Ulster Unionist Councillor Darryl Wilson has hit out at the latest Parades Commission determination which imposes restrictions on Friday’s annual parade by the Ballymaconnelly Sons of Conquerors Flute Band.
Councillor Wilson said:
“The latest determination from the Parades Commission regarding the annual parade by the Ballymaconnelly Sons of Conquerors Flute Band in Rasharkin on Friday 18 August is as predictable as it is unwelcome.
“In previous years the band has abided by every restriction and condition imposed on their annual parade and have faced nothing but what can only be described as savage provocation from the republican protests facilitated by the Parades Commission.
“In any normal situation, the Parades Commission would reward good behaviour and punish bad. Unfortunately, the reverse has been the case, and the default position with regard to republican aggression and pressure seems to be one of giving them what they want.
“This annual parade is a test for local republicans as to how willing they are to accommodate the minority unionist tradition in Rasharkin and its desire to celebrate its culture. Sadly it is a test which republicans fail on an annual basis. So much for rights, equality and respect. it really doesn’t have to be like this.”