A blog by Nelson McCausland attempting to explain a loyalist band playing tunes and marching in circles outside a Catholic church in North Belfast has been has been branded an “utter disgrace” by a local councillor.
Sinn Féin’s Conor Maskey was speaking after the loyalist Young Conway Volunteers Flute Band were filmed by Sinn Féin member JJ Magee parading outside St Patrick’s Church in Donegall Street on July 12.
The band can be heard playing the anti-Catholic ‘Famine Song’, which includes the words “The famine is over, why don’t you go home?”
Band members were also filmed aggressively beratting JJ Magee.
The Parades Commission described the incident as “totally inappropriate” while the band have insisted that there were playing the Beach Boys’ hit the ‘The Sloop John B’ and not the Famine Song.
In his blog, North Belfast DUP MLA McCausland said the band had only stopped “to allow the County Grand Lodge officers at the front of the parade to lay a wreath at the Cenotaph at the City Hall”.
“The ceremony normally takes about 10 to 15 minutes and during that time lodges and bands stop at the point they have reached and wait for the parade to resume,” he wrote.
Conor Maskey, who was in the area at the time, said Mr McCausland should condemn the band’s behaviour.
“Nelson McCausland’s attempt on his blog to justify this sectarian incident is an utter disgrace,” he said.
“Not only did the band play sectarian tunes outside the church and behave in a provocative manner but they actually attempted to assault the person recording their behaviour. Instead of attempting to gloss over and excuse such sickening and offensive behaviour he should be condemning it. Not only has he done himself a disservice with this load of nonsense but he has also further discredited the Orange Order and the DUP in the eyes of the wider public.”