Northern Ireland news

Loyalists flout rules in Belfast march glorifying UDA killers

Brendan Hughes
30 July, 2016 01:00

LOYALISTS flouted parading rules as they marched through a mixed community last night in honour of notorious UDA men linked to scores of sectarian murders.

UDA flags were flown from lampposts despite a Parades Commission warning against the use of paramilitary trappings during the south Belfast commemoration.

And a controversial memorial funded by the Housing Executive was again used to glorify UDA members.

For a third year the parade was organised to coincide with the anniversary of the killing of Joe Bratty and Raymond Elder.

The pair have been linked to a 1992 gun attack on a bookmakers on Ormeau Road in which five Catholics were killed.

A Parades Commission ruling banned this year's commemoration from marching along Ormeau Road.

But participants were still allowed to gather at the contentious memorial near Annadale Flats that has become the focus of paramilitary displays.

The Housing Executive has said the £11,000 monument was intended as a First World War memorial.

In both previous years a temporary plaque bearing Bratty and Elder's names was fixed to the memorial, which was also covered in floral tributes and paramilitary flags.

The plaque was again placed on the memorial last night, along with a newly launched Somme flag created by the Loyalist Communities Council.

The march was held two days before the 22nd anniversary of Bratty and Elder's deaths. The pair were shot dead by the Provisional IRA on Ormeau Road on July 31 1994.

In its determination, the Parades Commission raised concerns over paramilitary trappings seen during the 2014 and the 2015 marches.

It said the organisers had given "no assurances" that the controversial plaque would not be put on the memorial again.

30 July, 2016 01:00 Northern Ireland news
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