Belfast Telegraph

Loyalist band march in Belfast City Hall sparks council probe

The Govan Protestant Boys band marches through Belfast City Hall
The Govan Protestant Boys band marches through Belfast City Hall

By David Young

Belfast City Council is to carry out an investigation after footage emerged of a loyalist flute band parading around City Hall.

Video appeared on social media showing Govan Protestant Boys flute band from Glasgow playing The Sash and other party tunes in the foyer of the City Hall and marching through the building's corridors.

The incident is believed to have followed a City Hall dinner on Saturday night celebrating the 100th anniversary of the George Telford Memorial Orange Lodge, based at Clifton Street Orange Hall.

The video shows the band playing in formation in the marble-columned entrance hall of the Victorian building.

Alliance Party councillor Michael Long said: "I've contacted the Chief Executive to ask her to investigate. It looks to have been done in a provocative way.

"Even the fact that it has been videoed seems like it could be some kind of an attempt to antagonise and annoy people. The Sash followed by Derry's Walls - it's not exactly appropriate in the building."

Sinn Fein councillor Ciaran Beattie described the incident as "disgraceful". He said his party has been in touch with the Council chief executive and will be demanding answers.

"Video footage posted on social media of a loyalist flute band parading around the corridors and reception of Belfast City Hall is disgraceful," he said.

"This sends out the wrong message of the changing Belfast and City Hall which is supposed to be a shared space open to all. I have contacted the Chief Executive to raise serious concerns and demand answers as to how and why this was allowed to happen."

But loyalist blogger Jamie Bryson voiced support for the bandsmen. "Great to see Govan Protestant Boys proudly marching through City Hall expressing our culture," he tweeted.

A Belfast City Council spokesperson confirmed it is investigating the incident.

The Govan Protestant Boys band marches through Belfast City Hall
The Govan Protestant Boys band marches through Belfast City Hall

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