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Remarks on BB have caused serious harm

Published 06/06/2016

The "fury" over the remarks by Jude Collins about the Boys' Brigade reminded me of an incident some years ago in Crumlin, Co Antrim, where I was minister.

The Antrim and District Battalion held its service in Crumlin, with the usual parade to the church. Some people objected following the parade and made representations to the Parades Commission, along with their solicitor.

The grounds for their complaint was that the parade was illegal as it was not notified, that it was a paramilitary parade and that they carried paramilitary flags. All these allegations were false and the Parades Commission took no action.

The real concern I have is twofold. First, the total ignorance displayed by those who formally objected in the past and, more recently, Jude Collins. Second, the serious damage vocalising such ignorance - which is often seen as sectarian - does to community relations throughout Northern Ireland.

I wonder does Jude Collins realise the damage he has done?


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