‘Verbal abuse should not be rewarded by Parades Commission’ - MLA

Robin Swann. (Editorial Image)
Robin Swann. (Editorial Image)

Ulster Unionist leader, Robin Swann MLA, has stated that the verbal abuse levelled at Bands from the Rasharkin Residents’ Collective should not be rewarded.

Mr Swann, who was present at the parade on Friday night, said: “The level of verbal abuse directed at bands and specific individuals cannot go unchallenged and should not be further rewarded by the Parades Commission. Respect and equality was not what was being demonstrated by the Rasharkin Residents’ Collective.

“I have asked for a meeting with the PSNI to review what happened. The section where the protest is situated is restricted to a single beat and it was evident the verbal exchanges were intended to provoke a reaction.

“Taunts included reference to a band’s bus which was recently burned out, flags which had been stolen, and it has also been reported that reference was also made to a man from the band community who recently passed away.

“I am also deeply concerned that a local reporter was approached immediately after the parade and threatened. This is totally unacceptable.”