Residents claim band 'smashed' commission's decision with tune

Connla Young

NATIONALIST residents have accused a band taking part in a controversial Orange Order parade past a north Belfast flashpoint of breaking a Parades Commission determination.

Bands taking part in yesterday's march were ordered to play only "respectful hymn tunes" when passing St Patrick's Church on Donegall Street and the nearby nationalist district of Carrick Hill.

The latest claims of a determination breach come ahead of another Orange Order parade past the flash-point tonight involving one band and up to 150 people.

Carrick Hill residents say Mourne Young Defenders from Kilkeel in Co Down played a British army marching tune called Killaloe while passing Carrick Hill on the return leg of yesterday's march.

Controversy erupted in April when a band taking part in an Orange Order played the same tune while passing the flashpoint.

A major security operation swung into place for the parade which passed off without serious incident.

Carrick Hill Concerned Residents Group chairman Frank Dempsey said the latest determination had been "smashed".

"Here we are again and here's another determination smashed," he said.

"The tension was down and we cut our protest numbers down.

"We are sending out a message to these people that something has to give here."

The community representative said local politicians should debate the parades crisis at the assembly.

Culture minister Caral Ni Chuilin called on the Parades Commission to investigate claims that their determination was broken.

"We now have a situation that needs to be resolved and we keep saying the same thing but the best way we can resolve it is through dialogue.

"Local residents are not unreasonable."

North Belfast assembly member Alban Maginniss said it was a relief the parade passed off peacefully.

"The potential for disorder is always there and the damage it caused to good community relations is ever present," he said.

"What needs to be done here is dialogue between local people and the Orange Order."

An Orange Order spokesman said: "Parade participants adhered to the comprehensive template issued by the County Grand Orange Lodge of Belfast; showing respect at St Patrick's Roman Catholic Church, both to and from the annual Battle of the Somme thanksgiving service."


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