The Parades Commission has been slammed for their decision to “ban” a junior Orange lodge from unfurling a new banner at a derelict street in Portadown.
The Progressive Unionist Party’s Sophie Long claimed the determination by the commission on Parkmount Junior LOL 150’s parade next Saturday has “set back community relations in Portadown by 20 years with a biased and discriminatory decision”.
She said the banner unfurling was to take place in Water Street with a short parade to take place directly into the town centre.
“Water Street is derelict, with no residents and leads out on to Castle Street,” she added.
“Millions of pounds of EU ‘peace’ money has been spent on developing the area as a ‘shared space’ regards the nearby People’s Park.
“The parade would follow the only safe route for members of the unionist community to access this ‘shared space’.”
David Jones, Ukip councillor for Armagh City, Banbridge and Craigavon Borough Council, said: “This is a junior Orange parade to do with the unfurling of one of their banners.
“This is a one-off parade by a junior lodge with young lads aged from seven-years to about 14-years.”
Mr Jones, who is secretary of the Portadown No 1 Orange District, added: “The determination is referring an awful lot to what Portadown District LOL No1 are doing or not doing, but that is a different matter.
“Water Street is actually a derelict street and it is quite ridiculous there is not going to be a parade there for fear it is going to concern anybody.
“A banner is only ever unfurled by any lodge maybe once every 20 or 30 years so it is something that happens very very occasionally.”