Apprentice Boys disappointed

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The Apprentice Boys of Derry, Campsie Club, Rasharkin Branch are disappointed by the irrational, illogical and indeed capricious Determination imposed by the Parades Commission, preventing the Club from entering Sunnyside Drive, Rasharkin on the return leg of its parade on the evening of Saturday 13 August 2011.

Residents of Rasharkin have also indicated to the Club that they are similarly disappointed.

The Determination represents a disproportionate restriction of the Club’s right to celebrate its culture whilst on parade. It is an unacceptable curtailment of the right of freedom of peaceful assembly that all members of the community in Rasharkin can and should enjoy.

The lack of understanding shown by the Commission towards complex issues in Rasharkin and indeed the apparent bias that the Commission demonstrates towards those opposed to parades in the village damages delicate community relations in Rasharkin and indeed further a field. By implication, this increases the threat of serious public disorder.

The Club are of the view that the Commission has failed in its statutory duty and, on this basis, the Club calls for the Commission to be abolished forthwith and replaced with a body who are more equipped to understand the complexities that continually face parade organisers in Northern Ireland.

Notwithstanding the Determination imposed by the Commission, the Club will continue to parade on 13 August 2011 in humble remembrance of the brave 13 and will, as always, celebrate its culture through music in a lawful, peaceful and dignified way.