Council cash for Republican band?
A REPUBLICAN flute band from Dunloy, which was banned from parading in a town across the border because of their 'militaristic' style of uniform, could be in the reckoning for a grant from Ballymoney Council.
Sinn Fein councillor Philip McGuigan from Dunloy was told the band could get money if they applied under Community Support Grant criteria.
Councillor McGuigan said the band travelled to Galway on St Patrick's Day this year and he enquired if grants would be available for such trips.
He raised the matter after noticing Dunloy Accordion Band, from the Unionist community, was given a council grant to travel to the Lord Mayor's Parade in London.
DUP mayor, Councillor John Finlay, said Dunloy Accordion Band received the funding under the Community Support Grant mechanism which doesn't have the same criteria as community relations cash.
All applying groups or bodies need to have to benefit from the Community Support Grant pot is a constitution and accounts, said Mayor Finlay.
The band referred to by Councillor McGuigan is Dunloy Fallen Comrades Flute Band.
Controversy surrounded the band earlier this year. They were banned from taking part in a parade at Thurles, County Tipperary, on March 17 after it was claimed they had "contravened the apolitical approach to organising the annual event" when taking part in the previous year's demonstration.
It had been claimed that members wore a paramilitary style uniiform and, contrary to the usual protocol, carried the Tricolour as it marched through the town's streets.
However, the band was then invited to a St. Patrick's day demonstration in Galway.
At the time, the decision to ban the Dunloy band from Thurles was welcomed by North Antrim DUP Assemblyman, Ian Pasley Junior, who said there was no place in parades, particularly on St. Patrick's Day, for a band openly marching in paramilitary-style uniforms.
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Thursday 20 June 2013
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