28/06/2005

Three arrested in parade trouble

Three people have been arrested following an Orange Order parade in Ballymena on Monday.

The incident, which occurred close to a Catholic church, saw a man and woman arrested and questioned about disorderly behaviour, while another man was arrested in connection with a driving offence.

Sinn Fein MLA Philip McGuigan called on the Parades Commission to ban what he called “sectarian and triumphalist parades” from the nationalist north end of the town.

“These parades are unwelcome here by the residents who live in this part of Ballymena,” Mr McGuigan said. “It is simply not good enough that the parades commission and the PSNI are cheerleaders for sectarianism."

The SDLP's Sean Farren and Declan O'Loan, meanwhile, said the incident would be raised at a public session of the Policing Board on Thursday while police said the matter had been referred to the Police Ombudsman Nuala O’Loan.

However, DUP MP for North Antrim the Rev. Ian Paisley called into question Mrs O’Loan’s independence on the matter as she is married to Declan O’Loan from the SDLP.

"Are they going to settle who should walk, and where they should walk, around their breakfast table?" the DUP leader said.

(MB/SP)

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