Unionist politicians in North Antrim have vented their anger at the parades commission in the wake of Friday evening’s contentious band parade in Rasharkin.
And North Antrim DUP MLA Mervyn Storey has directly challenged republicans to end what he termed ‘orchestrated opposition’ to the parade.
“It is way past the time for this orchestrated opposition to come to and end and allow Ballymaconnelly band and Rasharkin village to be freed from this annual trumped up concern and contrived opposition.”
Mr. Storey was joined by UUP Assmeblyman Robin Swann in condemning reported attacks on cars after the parade. Mr. Swann said: “Given the antagonistic behaviour and goading, the serious question must be addressed by the Parades Commission if the so-called Rasharkin Residents Collective is nothing more than a mainstream or dissident militant republican front organization?”
Speaking from the republican perspective, Sinn Féin’s Oliver McMullan said: “This parade brings significant disruption to the village and the local community will be glad to see it return to normal. Genuine inclusive dialogue is the only way to resolve the outstanding issues.”