” WE HAVE CONCERNS OVER THE TIMING OF THE PARADE AS IT CLASHES WITH PEOPLE COMING OUT OF 6.30PM MASS “
THE Parades Commission has been urged to reverse its decision not to impose restrictions on a feeder parade through the Co Antrim village of Carnlough. There will be six main Royal Black Preceptory parades taking place across the north this Saturday for an event that marks the end of the loyalist marching season.
The main Royal Black parade in the Co Antrim area is being held this year in Larne. Afterwards a band from the town will march in the predominantly nationalist village of Carnlough. Glenarm Preceptory has successfully applied to march in Carnlough on its way home. Members of the Glenarm group will join an estimated 77 bands and 10,000 supporters at the main event in Larne. Sinn Fein councillor James McKeown said he was ” shocked ” to learn that the band accompanying the preceptory would be from Larne rather than Carnlough as had previously been the case. ” This band from Larne are parading around Glenarm in the morning, then going to Larne to march, then to Carnlough and back to Glenarm,” Mr McKeown said.
Around 70 people from Glenarm Preceptory and the Constable Anderson Memorial Old Boys Band will march without supporters on a route around Carnlough, starting at 7pm, before travelling to Glenarm to parade again. They are due to follow a route along Bay Road on to Marine Road, Bridge Street, Harbour Road, Havlock Place and High Street and back to Bay Road. In previous years the Carnlough Flute Band has marched on Black Saturday but Mr McKeown said he was was worried the presence of an outside band could raise tensions. ” One concern is why they are using that band. We have absolutely no problem with the local band marching around the village,” he said. ” We have concerns over the timing of the parade as it clashes with people coming out of 6.30pm Mass.” East Antrim Sinn Fein MLA Oliver McMullan called on the Parades Commission to overturn its decision and impose route and music restrictions. A representative of the Royal Black Institution said that, like lodges, preceptories could invite a band to march alongside members and that sometimes the preferred band was unavailable.
WITH MANY THANKS TO : MAEVE CONNOLLY, IRISH NEWS.
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