Home LOCAL NEWS McGuigan requests urgent meeting with Parades Comissiin following Ballycastle Twelfth

McGuigan requests urgent meeting with Parades Comissiin following Ballycastle Twelfth


Sinn Féin has requested an urgent meeting with the Parades Commission and PSNI to discuss the recent parade through Ballycastle by the loyal orders.

North Antrim MLA Philip McGuigan said: “There were a number of incidents in Ballycastle on the 12th July that cause serious concern and should be the focus of investigations by the PSNI and the parades commission.

“The behaviour in particular of the Silver Plains Band from Moyarget and attempts to threaten, intimidate and raise tensions locally cannot go unpunished. Trouble follows this band each and every time they parade in Ballycastle.

“It is also totally unacceptable that they and other bands marched through Ballycastle with unfurled UVF banners.

“I intend to raise this and the issue of future parading in Ballycastle town with the Parades Commission when I meet them.”

However, in a statement posted on their social media page, Silver Plains wrote: “First of all we would like to congratulate Ballycastle District on a well run 12th of July parade in Ballycastle town yesterday.

“Also to the spectators who travelled to the town and those from the town who watched and enjoyed the parade throughout the day. (One man’s actions should not overshadow the peaceful good atmosphere that yesterday was)

“Now to address the elephant in the room.
As we approached the corner of the incident I myself noticed the man in question step out from the crowd with his dog so he was on the road. There were 5/6 police officers standing a few meters away. There was a large gap between ourselves and the lodge in front where he had a minute or two where he could have crossed over but he proceeded to ignore that and wait until our lodges banner passed him then he walked between it and our colour party (he slowed down as he got to the middle of the road) which left him within touching distance of the colour party. The only reason nothing was said to him or shouted at that stage was due to the fact he was indeed wearing a GAA top of some form. If this person had been wearing a rangers top they would have been told sharply to get off the road as they should know better. At this point one of our fluters mentioned to the group of police standing at the side of the road as he knew it could have caused a confrontation.

“After this and nothing said he makes it across the road but then decides to turn back, comes off the foot path onto the edge of the road where he waits and then decides to walk directly into one of our fluters and makes contact with him. This is where the confrontation begins. The band would like to say that there was no violent clash or no one was struck etc. The man was relocated out of the ranks of the band with the majority of band members moving swiftly in the crowd to diffuse the situation before it escalated further and to get the band parading back up the road.

“Bear in mind we were the last band, so if he had waited another 10 seconds or so we would have been past and nothing would have ever happened.

“We for one feel the band did no wrong nor any harm during this but simply acted as any band has always done when anyone (GAA top or not) tries to walk through the band never mind making contact with a member.

“Again this one small minded individual who showed himself for what he is, does not represent the rest of the good people of Ballycastle yesterday.”