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Orange chief hits out at protestors

Sinn Fein MLAs Gerry Kelly and Caral Ni Chuilin remonstrate with police during the Tour of the North parade.

Sinn Fein MLAs Gerry Kelly and Caral Ni Chuilin remonstrate with police during the Tour of the North parade.

A top member of the Orange Order says it is up to nationalists to choose “what type of summer they want” ahead of tomorrow’s Whiterock parade.

His comments come in the wake of the confrontation between police and Gerry Kelly which unfolded shortly after the Tour of the North passed through the nationalist Carrick Hill neighbourhood last Friday.

The incident saw Mr Kelly carried on the bonnet of a police Land Rover after he stood blocking their path after trying to intervene over the arrest of a youth.

This Saturday is also expected to see bands march from the Shankill Road to Whiterock Orange Hall, a parade Rev Gibson said is always met by demonstrators.

Asked if he thinks last Friday will have ramifications for the marching season, he said: “There’s no ramifications for us. If Gerry Kelly had an encounter with police, that’s a matter for him.

“If the crowds insist on attacking unionists either on parade or watching the parade then it’s a matter for police to deal with.

“But they have to decide what they want to do over the summer.

“Do they want to continue to show their bigotry or do they wish to show their toleration?”

Meanwhile, a new group opposed to loyal order parades is threatening to hold Union Flag-style protests to disrupt parades, it has been reported.

Communities Against Sectarian Parades (Casp) has warned it may “mobilise and disrupt” Loyal Order parades in Londonderry and is also considering a “mass demonstration” in order to highlight its concerns, the Irish News reported yesterday.

 

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