‘ THE YOUNG CONWAY VOLUNTEERS, BASED ON SHANKILL ROAD, WERE FILMED IN JULY WALKING IN CIRCLES AND PLAYING THE SECTARIAN FAMINE SONG OUTSIDE ST PATRICK’S CHURCH ON DONEGALL STREET ‘
Band members were filmed playing contentious tunes while marching in circles outside the Catholic church
POLICE have questioned 14 members of a loyalist flute band, including a 15-year-old schoolboy, in relation to provocative behaviour outside a Belfast Catholic Church. The Young Conway Volunteers ( YCV ), based on Shankill Road, were filmed in July walking in circles and playing the sectarian Famine Song outside St Patrick‘s Church on Donegall Street.
The song, played to the tune of the Beach Boys ‘ Sloop John B, is banned in Scotland. One member of the band has also appeared in court charged with assaulting north Belfast community worker JJ Magee, who filmed the scenes on a mobile phone during the annual Twelfth of July loyalist march. Bandsman William Bell appeared in court earlier this month charged with common assault in relation to the incident. Police confirmed yesterday that they have arrested 11 people aged between 15 and 42 in North Belfast over the last two days in relation to the behaviour of loyalist bandsmen on the Twelfth.
Three further men were questioned about breaches of Parades Commission determination after presenting themselves with their legal representatives at Tennent Street police station for questioning. During the August 25 Royal Black Institution march past the church the YCV band defied a parades commission ruling banning them from the Donegall Street section of the route. Police did not take action to reroute the band at the time but said they would investigate the incident. Supporters and bandsmen engaged in openly sectarian behaviour during the ‘ Last Saturday ‘ parade as they passed the Catholic Church. The Black preceptory later apologised to the clergy and parishioners of St Patrick’s for the behaviour of some of those attending the parade. Representatives of the Loyal Orders also engaged in private talks with the parish priest of St Patrick’s Fr Michael Sheehan. An Ulster Covenant parade which passed the city centre church last month ended without serious incident. Breach of a parades ruling is not an arrestable offence and can only be proceeded with as a criminal charge via a Public Prosecution Service summons. All 14 males arrested were released pending police reports to the PPS. They are believed to be members of the YCV flute band.
WITH MANY THANKS TO : ALLISON MORRIS, IRISH NEWS.
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