Flute band’s revised parade approved for Rasharkin
The Parades Commission has given the green light to a revised route submitted by a loyalist band ahead of a controversial parade through a Co Antrim village on Friday night.
The new determination was issued by the commission following a revised application from the Ballymaconnelly Sons of Conquerors Flute Band. They are now allowed to return through the village by an alternative route.
Sinn Fein last night warned of nationalist anger over the new parade route.
Earlier this week the Parades Commission allowed the band to march up the Main Street but banned marchers from walking the return leg. However, they have now reversed that determination.
A spokesman for the Commission said: “The new route involves the parade going one way down Main Street in Rasharkin village and includes Moneyleck Road, Bann Road and Glebe Road.
“The Commission believes that since the parade will pass the main part of the village just once, and that the new route provides for a continuous parade with less potential for significant stoppages, that no restrictions are necessary.
But North Antrim Sinn Féin MLA Daithí McKay said residents of Rasharkin would be requesting a review of the decision.
He said:”The people of Rasharkin are extremely angry that the Parades Commission has done a U-turn in regard to Friday night's parade, less than 48 hours before it is due to take place.
But DUP MLA Mervyn Storey said the decision had been a mature one.
He added:“Whilst the unrepresentative republican residents group has a goal to stop all things Protestant in the village, the band has went the extra mile to ensure a peaceful and safe evening for all in attendance.”