This is the full text of the Maiden City Accord which has been produced by the loyal orders and bands in Londonderry in an attempt to enhance parades in the city.
The following document was discussed and created by various experienced members of the Apprentice Boys of Derry, City of Londonderry Grand Orange Lodge, Royal Black Preceptory, Londonderry Bands Forum, and representatives of the Loyal Orders Safety Marshals. The meetings took place in St Columb’s Park House in Londonderry over five months from 1st February 2014.
From the outset it was agreed by all the parties that the Maiden City Accord, as it would become known, was a conscious effort to redress the balance of negativity that has been generated against a number of legitimate processions, commemorations or parades by politically motivated groups who continually seek to find offence in every cultural aspect of the Protestant identity.
Much of what appears in the Maiden City Accord is not new, but for the first time has been set out in a form that defines the role that each individual group is responsible for in relation to the structure, spectacle and management of each given procession, commemoration or parade.
It has been identified that the values and dignity of the various historical events commemorated by the Protestant culture have been eroded by years of conflict, and as a group we have created the Maiden City Accord in order to restore these values and dignity back to the top of our priority.
We are the current custodians of our cultural history and must take our responsibilities seriously to ensure that future generations do not have to face the hostilities and negative issues that we are addressing today.
The terminology used in this document attempts to address the requirements of each definitive group that participates in the public expression of Protestant Culture by way of public processions or events. In order to include this broad spectrum, the term “Single Identity Group” has been used to refer to each definitive group, Organisers, Orange Lodges, Apprentice Boys of Derry Clubs, Royal Black Preceptories, Safety Marshals and Marching Bands. Where the term “parade” is used, this will refer to all public processions, commemorative re-enactments, or other cultural events unique to the Protestant Culture involving Single Identity Groups either individually or collectively.
Terms of Agreement
The terms of agreement for the Maiden City Accord address six issues:
2. Timing of Parades/Events
3. Health and Safety
4. Dignified Parading
6. Briefings and Reviews
Communication structures are the responsibility of each Single Identity Group and are to be totally inclusive of all members of each respective group and other relevant organisations and/or individuals. Although these structures are internal to each group, communications between Single Identity Groups are to be subject to mutual agreement between the relevant parties.
1.2 Organisers are responsible for direct communications with all Single Identity Groups as well as other organisations (for example, the emergency services or statutory bodies) in respect of the parade route, specific timings, locations and transport arrangements.
1.3 Single Identity Groups will appoint a clearly identifiable senior member, in a prominent position, who will be solely responsible for managing the communication of instructions from the organisers or safety marshals to their group regarding gaps, halts, safety instructions or any other details to do with the spectacle and integrity of the parade.
1.4 All participants are to be made aware of the details of parades in which they are to participate, any specific determinations issued by the Parades Commission and any instructions issued by parade organisers in relation to circumstances en-route which are particularly relevant to specific parades. The responsibility for communicating this information lies initially with the parade organisers and subsequently with senior members of each Single Identity Group.
1.5 Requirements specific to marshals:
1.5.1 Marshals are required to communicate respectfully, clearly and effectively with participants, emergency services personnel and the general public.
1.5.2 Marshals will liaise with the local authorities and offer local knowledge and support to agencies from outside their local area of expertise.
1.5.3 Marshals will use appropriate communication equipment and adhere to on air protocol.
1.6 Requirements specific to Organisers:
1.6.1 Organisers are directly responsible for all legal requirements relating to the parades they organise.
1.6.2 Organisers will be responsible in advance of the event, for liaison with representatives from local places of worship along the event route to ensure that no disruption to religious service occurs. A direct phone number will be given to each of these representatives to be used in the event of unscheduled religious circumstances.
2.0 Timings of Parades/Events
2.1 Organisers are responsible for the organisation of timings in respect of parades.
2.2 Single Identity Groups are responsible for the readiness of their members to march off at the appointed time or under the relayed instructions of the parade marshals.
2.3 Requirements specific to Marshals:
2.3.1 Marshals will arrive on location at an agreed time prior to the commencement of the event.
Health and Safety
3.1 Single Identity Groups are advised to ensure that their members are adequately insured in respect of participating in a parade in the public domain.
3.2 Single Identity Groups are to ensure that their members are aware of the risks associated with negligent and/or reckless misuse of equipment used on parade which may result in injury or damage to parade participants, members of the public or adjacent property/vehicles.
3.3 Requirements specific to Marshals:
3.3.1 Marshals will operate in pairs at all times if there are sufficient numbers available.
3.3.2 Marshals will wear High Visibility Jackets/ Bibs with “Parade Marshal” on the back for easy identification.
3.3.3 Marshals should be aware of disability when dealing with their duties i.e. deafness and blindness.
3.3.4 Marshals should avail of accredited training courses in respect of health and safety issues relating to public parades/events. This training should be updated when circumstances warrant it.
3.3.5 Marshals should identify potential hazards prior to the event and continue to monitor their area of responsibility throughout the duration of the event; any concerns should be reported to the senior marshal immediately.
3.3.6 Marshals will remain in designated position unless directed to move by the senior Marshal.
3.3.7 Marshals should be aware of access routes for emergency services vehicles.
3.4 Requirements specific to organisers:
3.4.1 Organisers should have appropriate public liability insurance in place to cover the event and participants.
3.4.2 The organisers should be aware that in cases of extreme weather adequate first aid facilities and/or water stations should be available on the event route. General first aid facilities should be available at all organised events. A route map with details of rest stops or toilets should be supplied to all Single Identity Groups.
3.4.3 Organisers should ensure that marshals are aware of access routes for emergency services vehicles.
3.5 Requirements specific to Bands:
3.5.1 Bands are advised to check that any insurance they have should cover issues relating to the spectacle of the parade, including mace throwing or complicated drumstick routines and is added here to cover specific individuals from risk of legal action.
4.1 Parade organisers are responsible for the dignity and discipline of all parading participants. Dignified parading encompasses issues such as dress code, minimising gaps between Lodges, Clubs, Preceptories and Bands; restriction of participation of individuals clearly showing an influence from the intake of alcohol; direction of a minimum number of ranks in relation to clubs; ensuring that no illegal flags or emblems are being displayed; and the direction for participants on parade to pay due respect at cenotaphs.
4.2 It is the responsibility of each Single Identity Group to ensure that all their members present themselves at parades in a very high standard of dress code in order to both promote and protect the public image of all participants and the parade in general. In special circumstances and with the prior permission of the organisers where it is deemed appropriate i.e. re-enactments, period costumes may be acceptable.
4.3 Single Identity Groups are to adhere to all instructions relayed by their liaison member in relation to all parading matters in order to collectively present a dignified and disciplined parade.
4.4 Individual members of all Single Identity Groups will use only appropriate toilet facilities provided by the parade organisers at specific locations on the parade route or other permanent public toilet facilities.
4.5 Single Identity Groups are to comply with the law in relation to flags and emblems when parading in the public domain.
4.6 Single Identity Groups are to stress the need for understanding in relation to what is perceived to be a public lack of knowledge of the “marching” culture in order to maintain the dignity and respect of parades.
4.7 Single Identity Groups are to complete all parade routes in their entirety unless otherwise instructed to do so by the parade marshals.
4.8 Requirements specific to Marshals:
4.8.1 Marshals will be firm, fair and impartial when carrying out their responsibilities before, during and after events.
4.8.2 Marshals will carry out tasks and duties as instructed by the senior marshal.
4.8.3 Marshals will assist the local authorities at all times in carrying out their duties.
4.8.4 Marshals will use their skills and training to diffuse situations before they become an adverse issue.
5.1 Responsibilities for parade behaviour lie with each individual Single Identity Group who are responsible for their own members. Marshals have an organisational role in terms of being responsible for overseeing all parade activities including the collective behaviour of parade participants.
5.2 It is accepted that the police have overall responsibility for behaviour in public places. The police have responsibility for all spectator activity at parades; however co-operation between Clubs, Marshals, Bands and the general public is encouraged, in order to promote positive participation in the overall event.
5.3 Reasonable and sensible behaviour by all participants within a parade should reflect a common sense approach with co-operation and mutual respect by all participants, regardless of their Single Identity Groups.
5.4 Loyal Order officers and band committee members are to actively discourage the consumption of alcohol or any use of illegal substances by parade participants prior to and during parades that are organised by Loyal Orders and other agencies.
5.5 Parade participants are to be encouraged to show restraint on occasions when members of the public, either deliberately or inadvertently, step into the ranks of a parade. Responsibility for addressing this issue lies directly with the police.
5.6 Parade participants are to adhere to all instructions directed by parade organisers and marshals in respect of any determinations issued by the Parades Commission.
5.7 Parade participants are to adhere to all instructions directed by parade organisers when parading past specific locations on parade routes such as war memorials or places of worship.
5.8 Parade participants must refrain at all times from any form of antagonism towards the general public, especially in areas where the people present may not be supporters of parading culture.
Briefings and Reviews
6.1 Parade organisers are responsible for briefing all the relevant parties in relation to specific parades/events. Reviews are to be put in place also involving all the relevant parties in order to address any issues of concern that may arise from specific incidents and are deemed to be detrimental to the culture of parading.
6.2 Single Identity Groups are to send a nominated representative(s) to any briefings that are convened by either the parade organisers or other relevant agencies if either are requested or required to do so.
6.3 Single Identity Groups are to clarify any points raised at briefings, either on an individual basis or as a collective response where possible.
6.4 Single Identity Group representatives can attend the debrief following a parade, in order to provide an input to the discussion and contribute to a collective analysis of the event.
6.5 Requirements specific to Marshals:
6.5.1 Where possible marshals should make themselves known to the designated people within the Clubs, Lodges, Preceptories, Bands and police or legal authorities prior to processions, commemorations or parades at these briefings, or before the event starts.
This accord is a proactive, positive step to put in place a high level/over-arching agreement that all participating groupings can willingly sign up to. Although the Maiden City Accord is initially a local agreement, with only the Apprentice Boys of Derry in a position to implement it fully throughout their organisation, it is hoped that the spirit and common sense approach it encourages will promote both the Loyal Orders and Marching Bands from all areas in a positive way, and counteract the negative attitude towards the Protestant Culture by those who are seeking to create tension and disruption during parades.
This Accord between Loyal Orders, Marshals and Bands will be subject to review regularly should this be deemed to be necessary by any or all contributory parties for the betterment of the parading culture.