Paramilitary flags banned from Rasharkin Parade

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Flags relating to the UDA, UVF and various loyalist paramilitary organisations have been banned from a parade in Rasharkin next week.

The determination on the flags was issued by the Parades Commission after Rasharkin Residents’ Association raised concerns about various issues connected to the Ballymaconnelly Sons of Conquerors Flute Band parade on August 21.

Sinn Féin MLA Daithí McKay has welcomed the determination. He said: “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 had 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 hope that this parade passes off without incident.”

The parade, which is expected to last around two hours, is due to start at 8pm Church Road and pass along Main Street, Moneyleck Road, Bann Road, Glebe Road before finishing back at Church Road.