5 July 2007 Edition
Unionist paramilitary killer honoured at Whiterock parade
Nationalists living along the Springfield Road in Belfast are angry that a unionist paramilitary killer was commemorated during an Orange Order parade last Saturday, 30 June.
A commemorative banner honouring UVF gunman Noel Kinner was carried by members of the Scottish Sons of Ulster Flute Band during the Orange Order’s Whiterock parade incensing residents.
Kinner, who died of heart attack in 1996, was arrested after his UVF gang was captured within minutes of shooting dead Catholic man Brendan McLaughlin in the Clonard area of West Belfast in February 1980.
Sean Murray, spokesperson for the Springfield Residents Action Group said: “The Orange Order is intent in rubbing salt into the wounds of the residents of this area through it’s lack of respect for their feelings. UVF man Noel Kinner was convicted of killing Brendan McLaughlin just a couple of hundred yards away from where this banner was displayed on Saturday.
“On the one hand the Orange Order refuses to talk to the residents to resolve the marching issue, yet on the other they allow bands to commemorate killers. First it was UVF killer Brian Robinson, now it is Noel Kinner”.
Murray also criticised the Parades Commission over the restrictions it placed on the residents’ protest.
The Springfield Residents Group had applied to hold their protest along the whole of the Springfield Road as the loyalist march went past the homes of the nationalist residents, but the commission restricted their protest to the section of the road from Workman Avenue to the Mackies Site.
“Again”, said Murray, “we have a situation where the Orange Order accompanied by bands playing sectarian tunes and carrying UVF and UDA insignia are allowed to walk past nationalist homes while the people who live in those homes are denied the right to express their displeasure through a peaceful, dignified protest”.
Meanwhile Sinn Féin’s Niall Ó Donghaile has voiced his concern over the numerous breaches of a Parades Commission determination during the Orange Order’s Somme Commemoration past the Short Strand on Monday night 2 July.
Speaking to An Phoblacht Ó Donghaile said that he had spoken to members of the Short Strand Residents Group who were monitoring the parade and who identified up to 30 breaches of the Parades Commissions determination governing the march.
“The breaches included instances where bands played sectarian tunes, bands carried UVF flags and other paramilitary insignia, young people many of whom were underage were drinking in full view of the PSNI shouted abuse and made obscene gestures towards residents”, he said.