Parade banned from playing music outside church

The Parades Commission has ruled that bands taking part in Orange Order parades cannot play music as they pass a Catholic church in Belfast.

St Patrick’s Church on Donegall Street has been a flash point for tensions and violence during parades in recent years. The Young Conway Volunteers were filmed walking in circles while playing the Famine Song outside the church in July 2012 in defiance of the Parades Commission. In 2014 witnesses reported the Royal Black Institution playing the same sectarian tune outside the church, and it was played again near the church two weeks ago during an Apprentice Boys’ march by the controversial Bangor Protestant Boys flute band.

The Parades Commission has also banned an Orange Order parade from marching past a mainly nationalist part of Glengormley, Co. Antrim, which would have seen the route pass close to St Bernard’s Church which was destroyed in a suspected loyalist arson attack in 2001.