Belfast Telegraph

Apprentice Boys meet with Soldier F row band

By Staff Reporter

The loyalist flute band which sparked controversy after wearing Parachute Regiment insignia at an Apprentice Boys parade in Londonderry says it has held "constructive talks" with representatives of the loyal order.

Members of the Clyde Valley Flute Band also had the letter 'F' displayed on the sleeves of their uniforms to show support for Soldier F, the former soldier facing prosecution for two murders and four attempted murders on Bloody Sunday in Derry.

Police officers had surrounded the band as it made its way through the Waterside area last weekend in order to prevent a breach of the peace.

Members of the band were also stopped by police as their bus made its way back to Larne.

In a statement issued by their legal representatives, the Clyde Valley Flute Band from Larne said the meeting had taken place on Thursday.

"Constructive and positive discussions were had regarding the parade, the surrounding issues and the disproportionate and unnecessary approach taken by police on Saturday, August 10, 2019, the band said.

"All attendees at the meeting are united in their view that no criminal offence has been committed by the band, or any member of it."

The band also said they were co-operating fully with the police investigation into the parade incident.

Apprentice Boys governor Graeme Stenhouse said the meeting with Clyde Valley Flute Band had been "very productive".

In the wake of the controversy, several loyalist flute bands said they would rule themselves out from participating in Apprentice Boys of Derry parades.

Belfast Telegraph

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