Belfast Telegraph

Orange Order pledges to 'fully cooperate' with Belfast council investigation after Govan Protestant Boys march in City Hall

Belfast City Council is investigating the incident in which a loyalist bad marched in City Hall
Belfast City Council is investigating the incident in which a loyalist bad marched in City Hall
Mark Edwards

By Mark Edwards

The Orange Order has said it will "fully cooperate" with the investigation by Belfast City Council after footage emerged of a loyalist flute band parade around City Hall at the weekend.

Govan Protestant Boys were visiting Belfast City Hall to attend the George Telford Memorial Loyal Orange Lodge Centenary Dinner on Saturday night.

Footage then emerged on social media of members of the flute band parading through the corridors and reception of City Hall.

Nationalist councillors have demanded answers from the chief executive of Belfast City council as to why the band were allowed to parade through a "shared space".

A statement, issued by the Orange Order on behalf of the George Telford Memorial LOL 118, said: “On Saturday evening, 12th October, George Telford Memorial LOL 1118, held a private function at Belfast City Hall.  This was organised as part of our centenary celebrations.

“We are aware of videos circulating on social media of Govan Protestant Boys playing within the public area of City Hall.

“As a lodge, we will fully cooperate with the investigation of Belfast City Council.

“We will make no further public comment at this stage.”

A spokesperson for Belfast City Council said on Sunday that they are investigating the incident.

Sinn Fein councillor Ciaran Beattie said: "Video footage posted on social media of a loyalist flute band parading around the corridors and reception of Belfast City Hall on Saturday is disgraceful.

"This sends out the wrong message of the changing Belfast and City Hall which is supposed to be a shared space and 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.

"A council investigation is now underway to identify a possible breach of protocol and into the conduct of this flute band."

However, loyalist blogger Jamie Bryson said he was proud to see the band "proudly marching through City Hall expressing our culture".

SDLP councillor Carl Whyte said: “I was shocked to see the footage from City Hall over the weekend. Bandsmen marching through the corridors, beating drums with crowds of supporters shouting in their wake.

"It appears disrespectful of our shared civic space and I’ve asked the Chief Executive of the council to investigate what happened."

Belfast Telegraph Digital


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