Police will not enforce ban today…

We hear that the Police will be pragmatic in enforcing the ban on political regalia in Belfast today. But will people still get the free green tee shirts? Let us know??

  • Pete Baker

    Mick

    Surely it isn’t up to the police to enforce a ban agreed between the funding body – Belfast City Council – and the parade organisers?

    That should be [and indeed is] the responsibility of the stewards, as appointed by the organisers – the police have other, more important, responsibilities during such events.

    It’s an issue that, as I recall, was raised at the time this ‘ban’ was originally discussed on Slugger.

  • ingrammartin

    Pete,

    Clearly the police have a role and a responsibilty if a public order offence is committed.

    Martin

  • Pete Baker

    Yes Martin

    But that’s a separate issue from the arrangement between the organisers and funding body – to ban non-official t-shirts, non-official shamrocks etc.

    The police’s role comes into play if disorder is likely to occur while the stewards attempt to enforce their own arrangement.

    That arrangement, by itself, does not constitute a breach of public order.

  • Pat Mc Larnon

    Have the parade organisers given an undertaking that they will enforce any ban on regalia etc? They have asked those Participating to show maturity and consideration while attending but the idea that stewards will run around enforcing any ‘ban’ is plainly ridiculous.

  • BogExile

    As long as it’s inclusive as it’s supposed to be. We don’t want the Rupublican Mardi Gras it was in danger of becoming…

  • Pete Baker

    Pat

    I have no idea whether the organisers have said they would enforce the ban.. presumably that was part of the discussions with the funding body, the Council, when the arrangement was agreed. That’s if it wasn’t simply a smokescreen..

    But, as I’ve already said, the question of who would be enforcing any ban was discussed on Slugger at the time.. as was the ludricrous nature of the ban.

    The point is that, whether or not the stewards were delegated that role by the organisers, it would not be the role of the police to enforce such an arrangement.

  • ingrammartin

    Pete,

    Yes mate understand that BUT if a emblem or insignia is likely to offend and cause that breach of the police it is not a Stewards issue but a Police issue.

    Marty.

  • BogExile

    Section 4 1986 Public Order Act refers in terms of scope and application of police powers. Although it probably been repealed in NI to allow anybody to do anything the hell they like.

    4A Intentional harassment, alarm or distress]

    [(1) A person is guilty of an offence if, with intent to cause a person harassment, alarm or distress, he—

    (a) uses threatening, abusive or insulting words or behaviour, or disorderly behaviour, or

    (b) displays any writing, sign or other visible representation which is threatening, abusive or insulting,

    thereby causing that or another person harassment, alarm or distress.

  • Chris Donnelly

    Quite correct Pat. Pete is wrong to suggest the parade stewards have given an undertaking to effectively enforce the recommendations put forward by Belfast City Council. The advice they have given publicly is the furthest they could have gone.

    Strictly speaking, the matterwas only raised with regard to access for the Council sponsored concert.

    Quite how people simply walking or spectating along the main roads of the city centre could be subject to any form of ‘exclusion’ by stewards remains a mystery.
    As for the nonsense about banning non-official shamrocks, would that rule out Rugby supporters donning the national teams logo on their shirts?

  • Pete Baker

    Martin

    Yes mate, I’m aware of what would constitute a standard breach of public order.. the point here is that the arrangement between the funding body and the parade organisers goes much futher than that.

    The police’s role remains unchanged by that arrangement and it’s not their responsibility to enforce it.

  • Pete Baker

    “Pete is wrong to suggest the parade stewards have given an undertaking to effectively enforce the recommendations put forward by Belfast City Council.”

    Chris, that’s a straw man.

    I’m pointing out that any arrangement between the funding body and the parade organisers is not the responsibility of the police to enforce.

    As I recall, I’ve already pointed out on Slugger that the arrangement/recommendations were ridiculous – see threads passim.

  • ingrammartin

    Pete,

    Yes but you are talking about a few £ 5 an hour old chaps being asked to protect the copyright upon certain items of clothing.

    The bigger point here, is if someone puts a flag which is offensive then it is not a job for the Stewards but the police. The chances of their being a problem with an infringement of any commercial agreement between the council and the organisers is slim compared to a few rogue flags or placards.

    Happy Paddy`s Day to all.

    Marty

  • Realist

    “As for the nonsense about banning non-official shamrocks, would that rule out Rugby supporters donning the national teams logo on their shirts?”

    Or, indeed, Northern Ireland fans who may wish to attend the festivities in their team’s shirt, in their capital city.

    How silly.

  • Pat Mc Larnon

    I do hope those attending do show a high degree of responsibility. I have no doubt at all that there are press realease sitting by fax machines at a few party political headquarters with the ‘I told you so’ headlines.
    What I can say with out fear of contradiction is that there will not be any paramilitary shows of strength or volleys of shots into the air at this particular council funded event.

  • elfinto

    Does anyone wnat to buy ‘gay’ rainbow shamrocks?

  • ingrammartin

    Pat,

    Glad to see you retain the good contacts with the LVF and others who maintain illegal Arms.

    Quote”What I can say with out fear of contradiction is that there will not be any paramilitary shows of strength or volleys of shots into the air at this particular council funded event”Unquote

    Marty

  • BogExile

    ‘…What I can say with out fear of contradiction is that there will not be any paramilitary shows of strength or volleys of shots into the air at this particular council funded event.’

    Fantastic, what an advance for inclusiveness! I can just see the flyers. Celebrate St Patricks day but please leave your sunglasses and berets under the bed..

  • Pete Baker

    Just to note.. that according to this UTV report

    For the first time Belfast City Council is supporting a parade through the city centre.

    Alcohol and and all emblems have been prohibited and the council is spending £4,000 on private security guards to ensure the ban is enforced.

  • LMAO yeah right – I saw eventsec stewards – these are the same wastes of space who “steward” at Northern Ireland football matches. What a waste of £4k.

  • Overhere

    I must say I find the whole things stupid.

    Here I am in London in the very heart of it and people here last weekend had flags galore shamrocks etc and no one but no one batted an eyelid.

    Today all around the world people of all nationalities are wearing shamrocks and waving Irish flags and having a good time, only in Belfast do we get the whingers !!

  • Pat Mc Larnon

    BogExile,

    just drawing comparisons between this council funded event and the council funded bonfires on the 11th night that did include paramilitary shows of strength and volleys of shots into the air. Maybe that flyer of yours will come in handy come this July.

  • BogExile

    PML –

    I see, your point is well made then 😉

  • david

    I was at the St.Patrick’s day celebrations in London last weekend.I’m Welsh but thoroughly enjoyed the day, there were plenty of Irish flags around the place, but what do you expect, he is the patron saint of Ireland.

    I also attended the Wales v Northern Ireland game in Cardiff and many of the Northern Ireland supportes were wearing and flying the old Northern Ireland government flag, now i know i’m not Irish, but if’s ok for one side to fly their flag, why not the other.

    Perhaps the solution is for you all to agree an agreed symbol/flag and this could be used at all events.

    Just an idea.

  • gg

    Perhaps the solution is for you all to agree an agreed symbol/flag and this could be used at all events.

    I don’t think there’d be a building big enough for all 1.6 million of us to get together in! 🙂

  • missfitz

    Actually David, that was the intention with the “neutral” assembly flag. It had flax flowers on it and I think the long term intention was for it to become commonly accepted by all parties once people became used to seeing it as a commonly accepted symbol of NI.

    In our present state of direct rule, this has obviously been put into cold storage.

  • SlugFest

    any reports from the ground? did anyone actually go and if so was there any trouble?

  • spartacus

    fortunately, pete, the £4000 was money wasted. no one seems to have heeded the ridiculous ban on ‘non-official shamrocks.’ this whole thread is a testament to the deep-rooted sectarianism that has gone untouched by the gfa, largely untouched since the ‘tricolour riots’ more than a generation ago. the ‘official’ event was crap, mis-managed and mis-conceived at every step, so as not to ’cause offense’ to the thin-skinned sectarians who dominate city council. kitsch and all, st. patrick’s day is better any where else in the world today than in central belfast…with the possible exception of bush’s white house.

  • jeff

    The Orange Order has issued its first ever St Patrick’s Day message.

    It also said that it is greatly concerned by the breakdown of morality in our society, such as the recent introduction of civil partnerships.

    The Order does condemn violence and hatred towards homosexuals but notes that the Bible condemns homosexual practices as well as heterosexual immorality.

    Was St.Patrick gay ??

  • páid

    could well have been gay. He was Scottish, so there’s every chance.

  • ingrammartin

    Gay and scottish! feck me that is unlucky.

    Marty

  • suzey

    “The Order does condemn violence and hatred towards homosexuals but notes that the Bible condemns homosexual practices as well as heterosexual immorality.”

    Is Paul Berry not a member of the Orange Order ?

  • greenerfields

    Brilliant … just hope all NI city councils apply the same rules when it comes to funding any July 12th celebrations. For example, banning flags, banners, orange clothing; and enforcing rainbow colored collaretes, bowlers and lillies etc.

    -greenerfields

  • Comrade Stalin

    greenerfields, as far as I know Belfast City Council does indeed enforce such rules. “enforce” in this context means that future sponsorship of events is withdrawn.

    For example, the council is highly unlikely to sponsor any events connected with bonfire night in certain areas where the UVF staged shows of strength on the nights in question.

  • GavBelfast

    The smallish looking Belfast parade looked OK, but the event in Custom House Square just looked like a disorganised mixture of tatt and disinterest.

    Mayue we should stick to the various sporting finals, eh?

  • iluvni

    ….yes, and its about time the football final was given fair coverage, alongside the Gaelic and rugby ones.

  • Surely we should be discussing how ridicolous it is that symbols of irishness are considered as offensive when you juxtapose our relatively harmless festiveties to the the annaual state sponsored bigotfest that we all have to endure

  • Michael

    I am some what in a state of confusion. I have been following events at city hall in relation to this years St. Patrick’s Day Parade and at no time i have actually saw a set of rules that include the wording “no one should have tri-colours or celtic shirts”. What is this about, i think some one (DUP) decided that this may be another tactic ensuring that tension remained at the St. Patrick’s Celebration in Belfast. Move on, get a life, no matter were you go in the world YES THE WORLD you will find tri-colours at St. Patrick’s Day Celebrations, that a fact. whilst there can be no comparison in to St. Patrick’s Day and the 12th, but lets now move our attentions then to calling for a ban of Red Hand of Ulsters, Union Jacks and UVF/UFF/UDA flags from parades on during the Marching season. I wonder were the DUP would stand on this issue.

  • John McIlveen

    If you look at the below press release, put out by the carnival committee two days before the event, i think it proves chris donnelly’s point that they went as far as they could in their message.

    BELFAST ST PATRICK’S DAY CARNIVAL COMMITTEE URGES FULL PARTICIPATION

    The Belfast St Patrick’s Day Carnival Committee urges full participation in this years City Centre St Patrick’s Day festivities.

    There has been a lot of misinformation surrounding the event, being circulated in the local community. The facts are as follows:

    1.There is no ban on the wearing of green at the event organised by the city council.

    2.There are no tickets to gain entry to the event in Custom House Square. It is a on a first-come, first-serve basis.

    3.Community groups from throughout the city will be involved in the St Patrick’s Day carnival, which will leave from the city hall to the concert venue at Custom House Square. This will be a cross-community, inclusive event.

    4.As was the case in previous years, this will be a family focused event, and no alcohol will be permitted in the concert site.

    5.A security firm is being employed by the City Council Events Committee to prevent those with alcohol from entering the event.

    6.It is our opinion that people should feel free to enjoy the day in a manner which they see fit. We would ask, however, that people also be mindful of the fact that this is an event open to ALL sections of our community and that everybody should be given the opportunity to enjoy the event in the family-orientated atmosphere that this committee has always strived to create.

    “The St Patrick’s Day Carnival Committee took on the responsibility of organising this event down the years, in the absence of the Council taking this on, and each and every person that has worked on this and previous committees through those years should feel a great sense of pride in this Friday’s event”.

    “We believe the politicians who have been most vocal in their opposition to a St Patrick’s day celebration in Belfast, should now show a responsible attitude to this event and in the words of an unknown wit, ‘if you haven’t got anything positive to say, don’t say anything at all’.

    “To the neigh Sayers and be-grudgers, we say lets look forward to a successful St Patrick’s day event in our changing city. It is a day for everyone and we look forward to the day, when all major events in our city are organised in an inclusive manner. Let us lead the way once again in making Belfast a city for all”.ENDS

    The council had ITS OWN guidlines (exaxtly the same guidelines that the likes of the ‘Proms in the Park’ event falls under), that does not specify specific flags/emblems/football shirts. Therefore it seems that the committee played a leadership role in terms of backing the COUNCIL-RUN event, whilst not trying to get in a row with them over people’s interpretation of the guidelines

    I think the council were sensible in not ensuring that the stweards were put in an embarrassing position of trying to take flags off 13/14 year old kids!!

    John