Northern Ireland news

Priest allegedly spat upon during Glasgow Orange parade

Canon Tom White was allegedly spat upon and verbally abused as an Orange parade made its way through Glasgow on Saturday
Gareth McKeown

A SCOTTISH priest was allegedly spat upon and verbally abused as an Orange parade made its way through Glasgow.

It is alleged that as the annual Boyne parade made its way through the city centre on Saturday there was an incident outside St Alphonus Church on Stevenson Street.

The Archdiocese of Glasgow claimed that after vigil Mass, Canon Tom White was meeting and greeting parishioners when the parade approached. It said he was subjected to sectarian abuse and spat upon on two separate occasions - once on the back of the head and the other in his eye.

It was further alleged he was lunged at by a man carrying a pole.

In a post on Facebook the archdiocese said police, who had been guarding the church, were called away to deal with a nearby incident when the attack occurred.

Around 4,500 people took part in the annual parade.

A Police Scotland spokeswoman said: "We can confirm we are investigating the assault of a man outside a church at the Barras around 4.20pm on Saturday. He was not injured as a result of the assault and inquiries are ongoing."

The police added that while the parade was passing the church at the time any involvement by someone from the Orange Order was "still to be established".

Scottish National Party MSP, Michael Russell described the incident as "utterly shocking and despicable".

"We must all stand in solidarity with Canon White and his congregation. Charges need to be brought and in addition no march that ends with such scenes should be allowed on that route in future," he said.

Police also confirmed they arrested four people during the parade. Two men were arrested and charged with breach of the peace while a third man was taken into custody for drugs misue. A woman was also arrested for being drunk and incapable.

The Grand Orange of Scotland was approached for comment last night but did not respond.

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