After attending the recent band parade organised by Ballymaconnelly sons of conquerors, I must commend the band for an excellent parade in the most trying of circumstances.
The discipline and conduct of the bands in attendance was impeccable, in spite of extreme provocation from masked republican protesters.
I cannot help but feel however that the organisers have been let down by their political representatives with the exception of councillor Daryl Wilson UUP, councillor John Finlay DUP, Robin Swann UUP MLA and Jim Allister TUV MLA. They are the only politicians that seem genuinely concerned by the ridiculous position the band is being placed in by the parades commission.
I have seen or heard nothing in the media from senior figures in the UUP or the DUP about the situation in Rasharkin where republicans, aided by the Parades Commission, are trying to force a local band from their home village. The band has abided by the commissions determinations year on year and every year more restrictions are placed upon them.
The band’s motto is strength and honour. Time we had some from senior unionist politicians and the MP for the area in regards this dispute.
Ivan Blair, Aghadowey, Co Londonderry