27 April 2006

It’s best flute forward again


Here we go once more... Stoneyford Catholics brace themselves for the start of the marching season

by Roisin McManus

The loyalist Pride of the Village Flute Band have again applied to the Parades Commission to march past Catholic homes in Stoneyford Village on July 11.

Sinn Féin Councillor Paul Butler says he is alarmed by the application and believes that the marches will stoke up tension in the area.

The contentious march proposes to march down Main Street and will take in new local estates, Stonebridge Meadows and The Beeches, at 7pm.

This is an alteration to the band’s traditional route.

The proposed return route at 9pm would also take in the mixed housing developments.

The application states that 30 people will be taking part in the march.
Councillor Butler said that he would be contacting the Parades Commission to voice his concerns.

“The parade has filed to march past the house of a Catholic couple who were petrol-bombed out of their home in February this year,” said Councillor Butler.

“It will be seen by many Catholics as provocative and an act of naked sectarianism designed to strike fear into the Catholic community.

“It should not be allowed to happen,” he added.

Councillor Butler urged the Parades Commission to ban the parade from the mixed housing estates.

“In early 2006 Catholic-owned homes were attacked in the village in sectarian attacks which mirrored those launched by loyalists against Catholics following last year’s parade.

“Sinn Féin will be making it very clear to the Parades Commission that this parade into the mixed Beeches and Stonebridge Meadows developments is unacceptable and motivated solely by sectarianism.

“The only acceptable course of action is to ban this parade from the mixed housing estates to limit the amount of disruption to villagers,” he added.

A spokesman for the Parades Commission said that the parade will be considered on June 28.

Journalist:: Roisin McManus

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