Bands feel ‘crucified’ says one member

Pride of Ardoyne members were questioned
Pride of Ardoyne members were questioned

A loyalist band member has said that marching bands feel as if they are being “crucified” at the minute.

It came after a protest surrounded the Tennent Street PSNI station on Wednesday night, as loyalist band members were inside being questioned about an alleged breach of a parades determination.

A member of the Pride of Ardoyne band said: “The police told me they needed to question eight members of the band about breaches of the Parades Commission determination.

“So four went in on Wednesday night, and four still have to be questioned.

“The supposed breach is over the band playing music between Twaddell Avenue and the police lines, a determination that was brought in around Christmas time.”

A spokeswoman from the Parades Commission said a determination had ruled that bands were not allowed to play music along that leg of the route from October 2013.

The band member added: “There is a lot of anger in the loyalist community about this, the crucifying of loyalist bands, and the determination today. It is a nightmare.”

The men – from the Pride of Ardoyne Flute Band – were later released and a report forwarded to the PPS.

A number of prominent Protestant faces appeared at the protest, close to the Shankill Road in north-west Belfast, during Wednesday evening.

They included DUP members and Markethill-based loyalist Willie Frazer.

The police said that the gathering had been monitored, and was peaceful.