19/Apr/2014 - Last News Update: 16:57

Rasharkin parade passes off peacefully

Category: Northern Ireland

Published: 17th Aug 2012 22:13:27

A loyalist parade through Rasharkin in County Antrim has passed off peacefully.

The Parades Commission had restricted the number of bands taking part to 25 after the organisers applied for 44.

Earlier on Friday, a high court judge rejected an attempt by two bandsmen to have the ruling overturned.

About 100 nationalists from two residents' groups held a protest as the parade passed down the main street of the mainly nationalist village.

Four arrests were made during the policing operation on Friday night.

Police said these were linked to incidents ranging from assault on police to public order offences.

They added that this "comprised a tiny minority of those in attendance".

In previous years, up to 60 bands took part in the parade.

The Ballymaconnelly Sons of Conquerors flute band had argued that the commission's decision was unreasonable.

The bandsmen also said it was punishing them unfairly over the issue of dialogue. They said they did not accept that they had not engaged in dialogue.

Mr Justice Weatherup said that the commission had legitimate grounds for imposing conditions.

The Parades Commission issued a statement welcoming the judgement.

"We hope that those participating and attending the event will abide by the determination and will reflect upon the need for a sustainable solution achieved through meaningful dialogue," it said.

North Antrim DUP MP Ian Paisley Jnr said he was disappointed with the judge's decision as he believed the bandsmen had a strong case.

"We believe they should consider, and have the right to consider, an appeal," he said.

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Available at: http://www.ukwirednews.com/news/1446870/Rasharkin-parade-passes-off-peacefully [Accessed 19th Apr 2014]

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