Somme parade opponents ‘should check family trees’

Killowen LOL 930 on parade through a tricolour-draped street on Wednesday night
Killowen LOL 930 on parade through a tricolour-draped street on Wednesday night

The UUP has hailed the “dignified” nature of a Co Londonderry Somme parade – and suggested its opponents should consult their own family history before complaining about such a commemoration.

The parade on Wednesday night had taken place in the Heights area of Coleraine over the objections of what the Ulster Unionist councillor William McCandless called “an element of trouble-makers”.

The Parades Commission had initially barred the parade from its route through the area, but later allowed Killowen LOL 930 through, as well as one of the bands.

Mr McCandless noted that both nationalists and unionists had died together in the First World War, and said: “It may well be that if they were to examine their own family trees, they might find that they too had ancestors who fought at the Somme, but I fear that such appreciation of history and tolerance for others, may sadly be beyond their capacity.”