Can’t march? Er…can – M’kay

Updated at 23:57

Last night’s band parade in Rasharkin was rerouted after a lengthy delay caused by a bomb scare.

Daithi McKay seems to think this amounts to an illegal parade as the new time and route did not have Parades Commission approval and suggests this will end up in court:

Parades Commission did not permit route that PSNI put the parade down. There was also no application for a parade on 21st August..

…ie when bands marched past midnight. This will be going to the courts now

Having a glance at the legislation it looks as if McKay may be fighting a lost cause as the PSNI have a massive get out of gaol free card:

10 Saving for powers of a constable

Nothing in section 8 or 9 or in any determination of the Commission affects the common law powers of a constable to take action to deal with or prevent a breach of the peace.


(7) A person who knowingly fails to comply with a condition imposed under this section shall be guilty of an offence, but it is a defence for him to prove that the failure arose—

(a) from circumstances beyond his control; or

(b) from something done by direction of a member of the Royal Ulster Constabulary not below the rank of inspector.


Daithi McKay has replied via twitter, I’ll copy his responses below. He or any other member of SF could have easily responded on the site but decided not to:

the residents association are taking legal advice on it Mark and they’ll be taking any case as opposed to myself

Police are saying they can do this in exceptional circumstances but the question is what qualifies as such a case.

The police changed the route because of a large loyalist crowd.Such a decision influenced by numbers/loyalist threat is not a..

good precedent to be setting.