North Antrim DUP MLA Mervyn Storey has commended Ballymaconnelly Flute Band following their annual parade in Rasharkin on Friday night.
Speaking after attending the parade, Mervyn Storey said: “Again this year I commend the members of Ballymaconnelly and all the bands who attended the parade. Despite the now annual provocation from republicans of varying kinds and a disgraceful determination from the unelected Parades Commission, all those who attended and took part in the parade did so in a respectful and peaceful manner.
“The majority of those taking part in the two protests are people from outside the village and not local people. Indeed I will be meeting with the police to further discuss the attendance at the protests, as I believe questions need to be answered as to why some individuals who had travelled a considerable distance were in Rasharkin on Friday night.
“This year’s determination from the Parades Commission was illogical, irrational and disgraceful. It not only was a sop to republicans but an insult to the history and heritage of the Protestant community.
“It is way past the time when this good for nothing quango is consigned to history.
“I want, on a personal note, to say a word of thanks to the leadership and members of Ballymaconnelly band for the dignified and disciplined way that they conducted themselves at every parade. They are a credit to themselves and the Protestant community of Rasharkin.
“Unlike those who oppose them, the band has at all times spoken the truth and conducted themselves with dignity. It’s time for this protest against Protestant culture to end in Rasharkin.
“The focus of the Unionist parties and all the loyal orders is to ensure the removal of the Parades Commission and to bring to an end this continual denigration of the Protestant community.”