BREAKING: Allister slams Parades Commission Rasharkin restrictions as “outrageous”

North Antrim TUV MLA Jim Allister has slammed the Parades Commission ruling on a forthcoming parade in Rasharkin as “outrageous”.

Mr Allister said: “The determination by the Parades Commission which again permits only 25 of the notified 44 bands to take part in the parade in Rasharkin next Friday but this year limits bands to a single drum beat for a considerable part of the route amounts to yet another attack upon the minority community in the village.

“The drum beat imposition is in the vicinity of the notified protests, one of which is by a dissident allied group, meaning that the very siting of a republican protest is now sufficient to rob marching bands of the right to play music. This is a monstrous innovation and reward for protests which previously have been violent.

“It is clear that once again the Commission has bowed to the threat of violence. It seems the Commission is intent on aiding Republicans in their campaign against the Unionist community in Rasharkin.

“It is a discredited body which has never had the support of the Unionist community and has illustrated yet again why it will never be regarded as a neutral arbiter when it comes to parading.

“I have attended this parade for a number of years and it has always been both peaceful and dignified. The fact that it is regarded as contentious is not due to any action by the bandsman but is rather testament to the intolerance of Republicans.

“By rewarding this intolerance the Parades Commission is helping to facilitate the cultural apartheid of Republicanism.”