Rasharkin parade passes off peacefully

A parade hosted by  Ballymaconnelly Sons of Conquerors, passes threw Rasharkin Main Street on Friday evening, The Parades Commission imposed  conditions  including that Dervock Young Defenders Flute Band are not permitted to attend .Pic Colm Lenaghan/Pacemaker
A parade hosted by Ballymaconnelly Sons of Conquerors, passes threw Rasharkin Main Street on Friday evening, The Parades Commission imposed conditions including that Dervock Young Defenders Flute Band are not permitted to attend .Pic Colm Lenaghan/Pacemaker

Unionist politicians in North Antrim have vented their anger at the parades commission in the wake of Friday evening’s contentious band parade in Rasharkin.

And North Antrim DUP MLA Mervyn Storey has directly challenged republicans to end what he termed ‘orchestrated opposition’ to the parade.

A recent parade hosted by  Ballymaconnelly Sons of Conquerors, passes threw Rasharkin Main Street. Pic Colm Lenaghan/Pacemaker

A recent parade hosted by Ballymaconnelly Sons of Conquerors, passes threw Rasharkin Main Street. Pic Colm Lenaghan/Pacemaker

“It is way past the time for this orchestrated opposition to come to and end and allow Ballymaconnelly band and Rasharkin village to be freed from this annual trumped up concern and contrived opposition.”

Mr. Storey was joined by UUP Assmeblyman Robin Swann in condemning reported attacks on cars after the parade. Mr. Swann said: “Given the antagonistic behaviour and goading, the serious question must be addressed by the Parades Commission if the so-called Rasharkin Residents Collective is nothing more than a mainstream or dissident militant republican front organization?”

Speaking from the republican perspective, Sinn Féin’s Oliver McMullan said: “This parade brings significant disruption to the village and the local community will be glad to see it return to normal. Genuine inclusive dialogue is the only way to resolve the outstanding issues.”

parades.”