26 September 2002 Edition

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RUC/PSNI 'monitor' illegal march

Loyalists staged an illegal Orange march in the early hours of Saturday 21 September, on the Blacks Road in West Belfast.

An angry Catholic resident, whose house backs onto the Loyalist Suffolk estate, said his children, who are all under seven years-of-age, were woken by the noise from "a loyalist blood and thunder band".

The angry father of three immediately phoned Woodbourne RUC/PSNI barracks, to ask what the force intended doing about march.

He was told that mobile patrols of RUC/PSNI were monitoring the situation. "I asked what 'monitoring' meant and was told they were watching it. I asked if they were going to stop this illegal assembly and again was told they were watching it".

The disturbance was allowed to continue for over an hour. "If a republican band played rebel songs next to a Protestant area, I can imagine what kind of monitoring the RUC/PSNI would be doing " the resident said.

Local Sinn Fein councillor Gerard O'Neill told An Phoblacht that community and loyalist leaders should have stopped this sectarian display from taking place.

"This isn't the first time these illegal gatherings by loyalists have taken place in this area. They are trying to scare Catholics into leaving. Loyalist representatives should make sure such marches never happen again."

An Phoblacht
44 Parnell Sq.
Dublin 1