Who’s marching, where and when? And when is a parade a feeder parade?

Balmoral Review posterIn the Belfast Telegraph, Brian Rowan picks up on Jackie McDonald’s comments about the Balmoral Review on May 19. Answering a question from a delegate in the Future of Loyalism panel at the Political Studies Association conference in Belfast, the senior UDA leader had referred to loyalist groups taking part in the parade and questioned whether Short Strand residents would feel threatened as the parade passed by.

Jackie McDonald has confirmed that he will be marching after all, “as a loyalist, along with many friends of mine”. He explained:

I support the parade … This is not in any way meant to be offensive or triumphalist.

Brian Rowan went on:

Asked how the UDA would be “suited and booted”, McDonald responded: “The days of paramilitary uniforms are gone. Whichever side of the community is having its celebration, it should take into consideration the feelings and the concerns of the other community.’’

“The organisers have made strenuous efforts to ensure that this is a peaceful day,” he said.

Jim McVeigh, Sinn Fein’s leader on Belfast City Council, said that feeder parades were his “primary concern”.

We are not opposed to the rally in Ormeau Park. But we have great concerns about contentious feeder parades and the impact on host communities. So far the organisers have refused to meet us, but we want to meet with them to resolve issues.

Though as Quincey Dougan explained in a post yesterday, a meeting with Short Strand residents has been arranged and the Unionist Centenary Committee are clear that there are no feeder parades – eliminating Jim McVeigh’s “primary concern” unless he is confusing the three main parades marching to Ormeau Park with feeder parades, which I understand would traditionally be individual (or groups) of lodges marching a short distance from their Orange Hall to join a main parade.

The Balmoral Review programme (and website) refer to parades leaving Alexandra Park Avenue, Sandy Row, Shankill Road and Clifton Street and arrive in Ormeau Park around noon.

The Parades Commission website currently lists four parades for Belfast on 19 May 2012, and it’s clear that not all parades have yet been listed on the site – for example Shankill Road and Clifton Street.

  • LOL No 633 Old Boyne Island Heroes (with 1 band and 170 participants) marching from Malvern Street at 09:30, via Hopewell Avenue, to Carlisle Circus by 09:45 and returning at 16:00.
  • Ballynafeigh Apprentice Boys Flute Band (with 1 band and 35 participants) are setting off from Blackwood Street at 08:30 to make the 15 minute march via Deramore Avenue-Ormeau Road-Somerset Street-Parkmore Street to reach the Ormeau Road.
  • LOL No 10 Ballynafeigh (with 10 bands) are starting from the Ormeau Road at 08:30 and marching via Stranmillis Embankment-Collingwood Avenue-Agincourt Avenue-Rugby Road-College Park-Botanic Avenue-Shaftesbury Square-Donegal Road to arrive at Sandy Row just before 10am to meet up with … (They’re taking a much shorter route home in the evening!)
  • Sandy Row District LOL No 5 (with 4 bands and 500 participants) are marching from Sandy Row at 10:00 via Hope Street-Great Victoria Street-College Square East-Wellington Place-Donegall Square North-Donegaall Place-Royal Avenue to Donegaall Street. And there their outward parade ends, a mile or two short from Ormeau Park! (They list their return journey from Ormeau Park via Stranmillis Enbankment and University Road back to Sandy Row.)

Aren’t some of those feeder parades? Maybe Jim McVeigh has a point?

(All spellings of road names copied from Parades Commission website!)

Alan Meban. Normally to be found blogging over at Alan in Belfast where you’ll find an irregular set of postings, weaving an intricate pattern around a diverse set of subjects. Comment on cinema, books, technology and the occasional rant about life. On Slugger, the posts will mainly be about political events and processes. Tweets as @alaninbelfast.