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24 August 2017

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Unionist leaders upset over ‘Blood & Thunder’ flute band name-calling

The Pride of the Bann carried a bannerette with the ‘Quis Separabit’ motto of the Ulster Defence Association on it


Words and photos by Peadar Whelan

UNIONIST POLITICIANS have been accused of “living in Cloud Cuckoo Land” after they threatened to lodge complaints of verbal abuse by nationalists during a loyalist parade in Rasharkin on Friday night, 18 August.

The contentious parade, organised by the Ballymaconnelly Sons of Conquerers, went ahead peacefully with the Rasharkin Residents Association holding “a dignified, silent protest”, Sinn Féin North Antrim MLA Philip McGuigan said.

Dervock

He acknowledged, however, that there had been some “cat-calling” between bandsmen of the Dervock Young Defenders (above) and protesters under the banner of the Rasharkin Residents Collective. 

Dervock Young Defenders are a self-styled ‘Blood & Thunder’ flute band with a reputation for sectarian coat-trailing. They have previously been banned by the Parades Commission because of their “rowdy and antagonistic behaviour”.

Philip McGuigan said it was “a bit rich” of Traditional Unionist Voice leader Jim Allister MLA, DUP MLA Mervyn Storey and Ulster Unionist Party leader Robin Swann MLA to be complaining to the PSNI over an exchange of words when bands such as The Pride of the Bann were carrying a bannerette with the “Quis Separabit” motto of the Ulster Defence Association on it.

“These politicians would be better off trying to resolve this contentious parade instead of supporting bands who are cheerleaders for loyalist death squads,” Philip McGuigan said.

Unionist bandsman gives V sign

(Above and below) Unionist bandsmen defended by the DUP, UUP and TUV take a pass on the idea of ‘Respect’ 

Bandsman celebrates

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