3 July 2008 Edition
Respect for Short Strand residents demanded in wake of sectarian display
In the wake of the loyalist ‘mini-Twelfth’ march past the nationalist Short Strand district in east Belfast on Tuesday 1 July, Sinn Féin spokesperson Niall Ó Donghaile speaking to An Phoblacht criticised the behaviour of bandsmen who took part.
“A number of the bands taking part in this parade played secatarian tunes as they passed the Short Strand, with one band in particular stopping and playing The Billy Boys. This incited a gang of teenage hangers-on to sing and jeer at residents living in the houses on the Albertbridge Road”, Ó Donghaille said,
The Sinn Féin spokesperson was also critical of the PSNI who he says allowed loyalist youths to walk along the traffic island on the Albertbridge Road in contravention to the determination of the Parades Commission which designates the traffic island as a sterile area.
“As well as these bands playing these sectarian tunes there were numerous loyalist paramilitary banners on display. Clearly this gives the lie to the notion that these parades are anything other than coat trailing exercises”, stated Ó Donghaile.
Ó Donnghaile expressed relief that despite the behaviour of some of the loyalist participants the march past off relatively peacefully.
“There were no major incidents during this parade”, said Ó Donghaile, “but it is time the Orange Order realised that it cannot continue ignoring the feelings of the people of the Short Strand and disrespecting them”.