Worshipful Master: Our anger and dismay at the denial of our liberties in Dunloy

John Finlay, Worshipful Master, at a previous North Antrim demonstration
John Finlay, Worshipful Master, at a previous North Antrim demonstration

This statement will be read at the police line at Dunloy today:

On behalf of the members of LOL 496, gathered here in Dunloy on Wednesday 12 July 2017, I wish to place on record our disgust, anger and dismay that, yet again, we are being denied our democratic right to peacefully exercise our civil and religious liberties.

We are greatly frustrated and saddened that there are those in our community who, while they speak endlessly about equality and human rights, display only contempt for us.

Their intolerance is such that they will not allow their Protestant neighbours to walk in the village on this key day in the marching season.

We are further frustrated and saddened by the willingness of the Parades Commission to keep pandering to that intolerance and to keep appeasing those who threaten opposition to our traditional parade.

The refusal to allow us to parade a short distance to the Presbyterian Church to lay our wreath in memory of our glorious dead reflects extremely badly on those within the Parades Commission who have made the determination. Of course, we expect little else from this Commission. It lost all credibility with our community a long time ago.

As law-abiding members of the Loyal Orange Institution, we have no desire to confront the forces of law and order, but we are both angered and hurt by the decision to restrict us here this morning.

The fact that we are required to go through this same process each year should not be taken as an indication that we have now accepted the situation or that we have somehow weakened in our resolve. Far from it.

We will never accept this situation. We will continue to assert our human right to peacefully walk the Queen’s highway.

No Surrender!

God Save the Queen!

John Finlay, Worshipful Master