COMMENTS made in the wake of this year’s Twelfth parades in Ballycastle by Moyle District Council chairman Padraig McShane have been described as “outrageous”.
In last week’s Times, Mr McShane issued a hard-hitting statement in which he called for a meeting to highlight what he claims are serious concerns arising from these “needless marches”.
He said he has been spoken to by fifteen people wanting to give their views on a parade which he described as an “unsavoury event.”
And the Independent representative also plans to hold a meeting with the PSNI Commander of H District to address policing matters he says have arisen.
This, he said, would be something that would done on behalf of Moyle Council.
Cllr. McShane stressed his comments on the Twelfth were designed to provoke debate, but he makes no apology for calling for an end to Loyal Order parades in the town and claims that many within the unionist community would like to see the Twelfth re-located to what he says is a more suitable venue.
He said: “Apprehension, fear and anxiety are some of the words that described the local community’s thoughts leading up to and during the demonstration. Members of the local community were assaulted; police themselves were assaulted; many in the business community had to put up with a barrage of insults.
“A substantial number of the complaints I received on the day concerned the free movement of the local community.
“The Orange Order, as the organisers, bears the responsibility for the events. They must now engage with representatives of this community to bring to a swift conclusion the nonsense that is Orange Order marches in Ballycastle.”
But angered by Mr McShane’s comments, a Times reader and local resident contacted this paper on Thursday.
“It’s outrageous,” she said.
“It is a free country and we can march where we want.
“I remember 15 years ago on the Eleventh night when three families were put out of the town.
“I think Mr McShane should be more considerate with what he is saying given his position.
“Regarding the Twelfth in Ballycastle, he doesn’t know what he is talking about.
“It was a great day out for all the family.”