Parade ruling is branded ‘illogical’

Coleraine Fife and Drum Band, and Killowen LOL 930 walk the top of Somerset Drive, in The Heights area of Coleraine
Coleraine Fife and Drum Band, and Killowen LOL 930 walk the top of Somerset Drive, in The Heights area of Coleraine

A Parades Commission ruling which reroutes the Battle of the Somme parade in Coleraine next Wednesday has been blasted as “illogical” by local councillors.

A meeting was due to be held on Tuesday night by Killowen Orangemen over the determination of the Killowen LOL 930 parade on July 1 which is marked contentious on the Parades Commission website.

The organisation had applied for 15 bands to take part in the evening parade.

After the determination was released on Monday, Causeway Coast and Glens Borough Council DUP councillor Trevor Clarke said: “People are angered once again that the Parades Commission has made a ridiculous determination which flies in the face of common sense and logic.

“This is the first time a route restriction has been imposed on the Battle of the Somme parade around this part of Coleraine.

“Pates Lane, Somerset Drive, a section of the route which is just under a mile long, has been route restricted.”

PUP councillor Russell Watton added: “This is the first time the parade has been rerouted in 50 years.

“Killowen Orangemen are having a meeting to see where to go next with this and whether to appeal,” he added.

Mr Watton said “there is a feeling in the community that the Parades Commission are trying to break the loyalist people”.

A Parades Commission statement said: “The requirement for the parade to take a direct route from the Orange hall to the Cenotaph, without a diversionary circuit of the residential Heights area, fully maintains the integrity of the parade’s purpose to commemorate the First World War, whilst reducing the potential for hostile exchanges and subsequent public disorder as occurred last year.

“The determination also addresses the provocative conduct of the parade last year.”