30/07/2015

Parades Commission Slammed Over March Decision

The Parades Commission has been slammed over its decision to let a controversial march in south Belfast to go-ahead.

The parade to take place on Friday, 31 July, organised by the Annadale Heritage and Cultural Society, will mark the 21st anniversary of the death of UDA men Joe Bratty and Raymond Elder, who were linked to the Sean Graham bookmakers' massacre in the Lower Ormeau in 1992.

It is scheduled to begin at Ballynafeigh Orange Hall and make its way around the upper Ormeau Road. Permission has been granted for 35 bands and 1,600 people to attend.
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Alliance South Belfast Councillor Mr McDonough-Brown said he had been contacted by several constituents following a similar parade last year, which attracted criticism for paramilitary trappings and intimidation towards residents from participants.

He said: "I received a number of complaints from local residents about issues including public urination and disorderly behaviour by those attending the parade. All of which was reported to police, who subsequently failed to bring any prosecutions.

"This has added to the tension brought to Ballynafeigh, which is an otherwise peaceful and mixed community, by commemorating an illegal group who brought so much death and destruction to our streets, particularly so close to the scene of the bookmakers' massacre.

"The Parades Commission has failed to consider these points in making their determination."

(CD)

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