Belfast Telegraph

Loyalist parade passes off without incident in Rasharkin

A controversial loyalist parade has passed off without incident in the north Antrim village of Rasharkin.

The parade hosted by Ballymaconnelly Sons of Conquerors took place on Friday evening.

Marchers had been ordered to only play a single drumbeat when passing a flashpoint in the village. The number of bands was limited to 25 after applications in previous years for 44 to take part.

Participants were also ordered by the Parades Commission not to display paramilitary flags or emblems, and wrap up the march in two hours.

The commission's restrictions were placed after residents' groups and nationalist politicians complained the parade had brought violence to the area in previous years.

Members of the Rasharkin Residents' Association and Rasharkin Residents' Collective took part in a protest on Friday evening. Their number had been limited to 50 protesters each and they were told not to drink alcohol or direct sectarian abuse at marchers.

After the ruling last week, the Ballymaconnelly band claimed its march has been "savaged by the quango that is the Parades Commission".

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