Northern Ireland news

Loyalist band parade goes ahead in defiance of Parades Commission ruling

The parade was barred from Kilcoole Park in north Belfast but went ahead on Saturday evening despite restrictions by the Parades Commission. Picture by Mal McCann
John Monaghan

A loyalist band parade through several streets in north Belfast went ahead on Saturday evening despite a Parades Commission ruling against it.

Conditions had been placed on the march by the Kilcoole Community Band, with the Parades Commission granting permission for bandsmen to walk along a section of the Ballysillan Road, but not nearby Kilcoole Park and Kilcoole Gardens.

Around 30 participants were due to take part in the half hour march.

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The parade, by different bands, has been given the go-ahead in recent years but the Parades Commission imposed limits on the exact route.

In its determination on Wednesday, the Commission said it had "no record of the notified band, Kilcoole Community Band, nor of parades organised by it".

"The notified route is a parading area with a history of sensitive parades, at Kilcoole Park and Kilcoole Gardens. The Commission has previously received substantial objections to loyalist parades in this mixed residential area," it said.

It is understood that a late application was lodged on Friday to the determination which the Parades Commission did not accept.

A previous Orange Order parade through Kilcoole Park and Kilcoole Gardens in 2018. Picture by Matt Bohill

However, the march did proceed with the bandsmen taking in both Kilcoole Park and Kilcoole Gardens.

A spokesman for the Parades Commission said: "We received information that a parade was held in north Belfast on the evening of 11th July 2020 into Kilcoole Park and Kilcoole Gardens.

"The Commission informed the PSNI in writing on 10th July 2020 that it could not accept a sensitive parade notification at close of business on 10th July 2020.

"The parade was therefore unnotified to the Commission. Unnotified parades are a matter for the PSNI."

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