11/30/2005

Loyalist Parade to clash with Best funeral

I think its a real pity that the Apprentice Boys have found themselves unable to reschedule their proposed marches in Belfast on Saturday. The matches clash with the funeral of soccer legend George Best. Around 500,000 are expected to gather in and around the Stormont estate for the funeral of the former Northern Ireland footballer. Nationalist residents have cancelled their protests scheduled for Saturday but despite the appeals of former unionist Lord Mayor and leading Orangeman, Jim Rodger, the Apprentice Boys have refused to consider a rescheduling. Previously I have paid tribute to the Apprentice Boys for entering into constructive dialogue but I feel they have missed an opportunity here to gain a lot of good will. With only 30,000 to be allowed onto the actual Stormont estate, things are going to hectic on the streets of Belfast on Saturday. Organisers could have done without this extra headache.

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