Orange Order under pressure to ban band from a controversial St Patrick's Day parade
THE Orange Order is coming under pressure to ban a flute band from a controversial St Patrick's Day parade named after a member of a loyalist murder gang.
The Noel Clarke Memorial Flute Band pays tribute to Clarke, who was jailed for five years in 1992 for his part in a loyalist gun attack on a mobile sweet shop in Craigavon, Co Armagh that claimed the lives of three people.
Eileen Duffy (19), Katrina Rennie (17) and Brian Frizzell (29) were killed in the sectarian attack, linked to the UVF, in March 1991.
Ms Duffy's brother Brendan said the parade was an "an insult to our family" and in "bad taste" as he called on the Order to ban the band which will accompany Batesons's True Blue LOL at the parade in Lisburn on Friday night.
"The Orange Order are crying out for the nationalist community to embrace them and their culture, but they are inviting a band named after a guy who was involved in the sectarian murder of two innocent teenagers and another innocent man.
"Those are the dark sectarian days of the past we thought were behind us. But to bring up another generation with culture along those lines is utterly tasteless," he told the Belfast Telegraph.
Mr Duffy said the Orange Order should review its policy about bands accompanying lodges during parades.
However the Orange Order, who said it was "a matter for local lodges" which bands they chose to take part and said it would make no further comment.
SDLP assembly member Pat Catney said chosing a band name after Clarke "sends out the wrong message".