7/27/2006

Republican parade in Ballymena

I see that the parades commission has placed restrictions on a Republican parade in Ballymena. The Commission has said that any bands in attendance would be restricted to a single drum beat and would not be allowed to go beyond Ballymena’s nationalist Fisherwick Crescent district.



Friends of William Orr spokesman Paddy Murray said his group would examine the Parades Commission determination.

“We will ask for an explanation. There are loyalist bands playing whatever they want past Catholic chapels and we can’t have a band parade in our own district. Nationalist representatives should press the commission rather than condemn us. Nationalists are still being treated as second-class citizens. This is not a Protestant town but a town for everyone, and everyone should have a say.”

I would just say this on the parade itself. While this parade does expose the hypocrisy of Unionist's position on parades and their assertion that everyone (so long as you are Protestant) should be allowed to walk the 'Queens highway' I don't think that parades just for the sake of it are a good idea.

Republicans should not lower themselves to the level of some Unionists in this regards. No one, Nationalist or Unionist, should feel discriminated against in their own homes. Naked triumphalism serves no one but those with an inferiority complex.

Republicanism is sure in its culture and place in society; we don't need the siege mentality of Unionism slipping into our community.

I would also like to praise local youths who took down several National flags from the Dunclug estate and replaced them with a single Tricolour flying from a flagpole.

Our National flag should be flown with respect and not used as a symbol of gettoisation in the way that Unionism does with the Butchers apron.

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