Dissidents to defy St Patrick's tricolour ban in Newry and Downpatrick
Dissident republicans have said they will ignore a controversial tricolour ban on St Patrick's Day parades in Newry and Downpatrick.
Controversy continues to mount as Kilkeel republican flute band, Banna Fliuit Naoimh Phadraig, vowed not to take part in the parade because of the Newry, Mourne and Down District Council-imposed ban.
Now republican group Saoradh have said that their members will be attending the parade en masse - waving tricolours to defy the ban.
Newry Saoradh representative Stephen Murney says the ban is "an erosion of Irish culture"and insisted it will not be complied with.
"St Patrick's Day is a celebration of Irish culture throughout the world," he said.
"It will be defied, have no doubt. We will defy this tricolour ban on St Patrick's Day."
Newry, Mourne and Down District Council said all entrants and participants in the council's St Patrick's Day parades in Newry and Downpatrick had committed to comply with the council's rules and conditions of entry.