THERE has been criticism after footage emerged yesterday of a loyalist band allegedly engaging in provocative behaviour outside a Catholic church and band members threatening a spectator who was filming them.
The incident appears to have taken place outside St Patrick’s Church on Donegall Street, which is close to the starting point of the Belfast demonstration at Carlisle Circus.
Bandsmen wearing Shankill YCV uniforms were walking in a circle around a drummer playing music.
It is claimed they played the music of the ‘Famine’ song – an anti-Catholic tune – at one point.
The video footage which has been posted on the website YouTube ends with the person who was filming the clip being confronted by several bandsmen.
This was Sinn Fein activist JJ Magee. He said he started to film the band with his phone outside the church as he thought they were being very provocative.
“I noticed out of the side of my eye two guys approaching me and they started shouting at me and threatening me,” Mr Magee said.
“I started slowly walking up the street backwards, but then some of them started trying to snatch the phone off me.”
In a statement, Belfast County Grand Lodge said: “The institution reviews all parades and will take any issues into account in that review.”
It is understood that no breach of a Parades Commission determination has taken place, However, the incident may have been in contravention of the voluntary code of conduct with regard to playing outside a place of worship.
A PSNI spokesman said yesterday that police are aware of the incident
“Officers intervened when a member of the public privately recording the incident was approached by a group of men,” he said.
“Throughout this incident police worked closely with stewards and organisers to resolve the situation peacefully.
“A considerable amount of footage has been recorded and will be studied closely. If any criminal offences are detected a full and thorough investigation will be carried out.”