Sinn Féin MLA Daithí McKay has welcomed a determination from the Parades Commission banning loyalist paramilitary flags at this year’s Ballymaconnelly band parade.
The North Antrim MLA said: “The Rasharkin Residents’ Association had raised concerns over a planned band parade in Ballymaconelly, particularly around the presence of loyalist paramilitary flags in recent years.
“The residents, along with myself, made representations to the Parades Commission about the flags and the intdended route of the parade.
“I welcome the determination of the Parades Commission, which has added restrictions to the parade based on the concerns of the residents.
“The determination states that no loyalist paramilitary flags should be carried and specifies not only UDA and UVF flags but also flags connected to these groups.
“It also limits the numbers of bands that can take part to 25 and states that only a single drumbeat should be played as the parade passes protestors.
“It is somewhat disappointing that a proposal to change the route was not accepted by the Parades Commission but the ruling on flags is a step in the right direction.
“I commend the Rasharkin Residents Association for their work and hope that this parade passes off without incident.”