Cllr Darryl Wilson has questioned the Parades Commission’s decision on the Ballymaconnelly Sons of Conquerors Parade.
In a statement to the Times, he said: “After reading the Parades Commission determinations for the Ballymaconnelly Sons of Conquerors parade and the subsequent protests/demonstrations, to be held in Rasharkin village on on Friday, August 22nd.
“It is beyond me why the commission have asked that only a single drum beat be played while the bands march past the protests areas! Are the commission bowing to pressure from previous Republican protests which have been unlawful and violent?
“The parade has always been conducted in an exemplary fashion, this decision is not reflective of the conduct of the bands and members that have taken part in previous years.
“This year as in previous years the number of bands allowed to take part in the parade has been limited to 25,
This additional ruling by the Parades Commission will only further erode the right to peacefully and lawfully celebrate our rich Protestant heritage and culture.
“I would urge the Commission to review this ridiculous decision which will only heighten tension within the Village, where the minority Unionist community already face cultural intolerance.”
Robin Swann the North Antrim Ulster Unionist MLA added: “I have witnessed the behaviour of the protestors as the bands past them in the past few years, and for the Commission to allow the bands to be subjected to this vile secterian abuse, which now even the youngest of the bands members will hear as it will now be heard over the single drum beat is unbelievable.
“The Commission has had observers and Commissioners present in Rasharkin in previous years so they are aware of the secterian nature of the abuse from the protesters, so to are SF and SDLP MLA’s so the onus is now on them to ensure the protestors act within the law!”