Commission still to decide on banner ‘breach’

By Gemma Burns

The Parades Commission is yet to make a decision on whether or not the large banners carried by loyalists during this summer’s marching season parades are a breach of its ‘no banners’ determination.

Loyalist have led each of the parades past nationalist homes on the Crumlin Road with a large sign saying Republicanism = Cultural Apartheid. The banner was carried at each of the parades, including Saturday’s Royal Black Preceptory march, despite the parades watchdog ruling no banners or bannerettes were to be carried apart from those of the loyal order lodge.

A spokesman for the Parades Commission said they are waiting on their monitoring report back before making any decision on whether the banner was a breach of their original determination.

The Royal Black Preceptory also marched in the Whitewell area on Saturday and have been accused by a local interface worker of trying to stall their march. Gerry O’Reilly said the marchers tried to accuse the nationalist residents’ protest of breaching its determination and refused to march until the issue was resolved.

He said the residents protest was in line with the Parades Commission’s ruling and eventually the march went through.

“They were basically stalling and trying to raise tensions,” he said.

“There is arrogance there that they won’t talk to residents and they had an issue with the residents’ protest, which I see as basically an excuse to stall.

“It was eventually resolved and they marched through.

“They are going to have to sit down and talk to residents ahead of next year’s parade though.”

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