Belfast Telegraph

UDA ditches Belfast Ormeau parade honouring terrorists Batty and Elder

A contentious loyalist parade through the Ormeau Road area of Belfast commemorating members of the UDA has been scrapped.

The event had been held annually to commemorate the deaths of Joe Bratty and Raymond Elder, killed by the IRA on the Ormeau Road in 1994.

The pair were linked to a gun attack which killed five people in a Sean Graham bookmakers on the Lower Ormeau Road in 1992.

In the past UDA paramilitary emblems were displayed on banners as part of the parade.

The Irish News reports the Parades Commission has received no notification of a similar event taking place this year.

Last year the organisation, which has legal responsibility for parades in Northern Ireland, altered the route of the parade after receiving "strong representation opposed to the parade's purpose and associations with the UDA".

Ahead of the event last year the DUP called for paramilitary flags and emblems to be removed from the event.

A party spokesperson said: "Paramilitaries should have disappeared from the scene long ago.

"The DUP condemns all those who cling to criminality and violence. Flags or any other emblems supporting paramilitaries have no place in our communities. We want to have them all removed."

Organisers had previously said the event also focuses on commemorating people from the local area who lost their lives in both world wars and during the Troubles, and first took place in 2014 after the construction of a war memorial garden at Annadale Flats by the Housing Executive.

The £11,000 memorial, which was funded by the Housing Executive, has been repurposed to commemorate Bratty and Elder - with a temporary plaque displaying their names erected in previous years and UDA flags flow from lamposts.

Last year around 300 people and 20 bands took part in the event.

Belfast Telegraph Digital

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