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.

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  • Prionsa Eoghann

    Have you met Ranger 1640 Alan?

    I am struggling to comprehend what you are on about here really. However quoting M L K in this context tells me what………….that we have to pity loyalist rednecks because hate is all they have? Or that despite these people participating in these events designed to upset local residents we must first get to know them and understand them before we condemn their actions? Utterly ridiculous man!

    I’d rather sympathise with the decent people who want to live in peace without said bunch commiting a breach using what amounts to a total abuse of the Human Rights Act to do it.

  • Alan – its not a surprise to see people assuming an OO connection when the likes of BelTel are describing the marchers as ‘brethren’, a term most of us just assume means there is mainly an Orders involvement, regardless of the semantics of who technically organises an event.
    As to the UVF/UDA thing – Daithi McKays blog has photos of the banners etc from last year (probably linked elsewhere on this page) – I’ve no idea whether it was mainly the same bands etc this year, but I’m guessing most people are (rightly or wronging assuming many of the same bands took part).
    While those two issues are both based on assumptions, no-one has flatly contradicted them. As to sensely demonising people – I agree with your point. But people are largely having to base their opinions on the limited perspectives being offered to them.

  • Secret Squirrel

    Thank you sir.. 🙂

  • Alan N/ARDS

    Before anyone writes to say I’m equating the OO with the Klan. I’m not. You could subsitute the OO for GAA, AOH, RC, COI, PCI or a multitude of other organisations.

    I would just like to add that parades in the likes of Rasharkin is not doing the unionist case any good. The local band should really accept that it is now time to call off the parade or at least scale it down to a reasonable size which will not cause offence to the catholic residents of the village. At the same time republicans who say they wish to unite the people of the island under the green, white and Orange flag should realise the chances of this happening is lessened by their hypocrisy. They keep saying that they respect orange and loyalist culture yet protest against this culture when it comes anywhere near areas they claim as their own. Was there not a parade recently with bands named after dead IRA men? Did leading SF members not parade with these bands which had their drums covered with AK47’s. Yet these same people complain about certain bands which are linked to loyalist groups. It’s a pity that both sides can’t grow up and live and let live.

  • Prionsa Eoghann

    otally agree with first half Alan.

    I have heard this nonsense about orange on flag etc. How about the orange civilise themselves first and not treat their neighbours like virtual sub-humans. An orange that is simply pro-Prod/British whatever instead of the current dose of triumphalistic get it right up ye Catholic hasters would be a great start. I doubt severly that there would be any need for a parades commission then.

    As far as Republican bands go, sure some of them are just green bigots but when they are trying to force themselves through a mainly unionist village then we can compare. Until then…………..

  • Alan N/ARDS

    Prionsa Eoghann

    ” How about the orange civilise themselves first and not treat their neighbours like virtual sub-humans.” Very strong words. Once again a generalisation of a group of people who you probably have never met. I know orangemen who live beside and work beside catholics and would bend over backwards to help them and yet you deem to demonise all orangemen as catholic hating bigots. I work with a girl form Newry who’s fathers lodge applies every year to walk through Newry on their way to the twelfh parade. They get turned down every year. They do not make a fuss about it. They know they are not welcome in the town by republicans so after they line up at their orange hall they turn left instead of right. This is the difference between country and urban lodges. The majority of country orangemen are christians or at least are able to turn the other cheek to the republican ideoligy of cultural apartheid in areas were they are in the majority.

    I not a fan of the OO but if republicans can’t accept a lodge like the one in Newry who are not out to cause offence – they don’t even use a flute band then there is no hope of republicans convincing unionists that they will be equal citizens in their republic.

  • Prionsa Eoghann


    You seem to imply that myself and I’d guess the vast majority of decent people regardless of race, religion,creed or whatever are acting unreasonable regarding the OO and their marches. I am also guessing that you are being wilfully ignorant of just what these guys stand for, if I am wrong you should educate yourself before defenunfortunately for you I will not pass it over.

    Now you cite (as have many others) the example of allegedly innofensive unnassuming probably old codgers who just love the idea of having a dandy in the countryside. It is an utter pail of crap! These guys choose to be a part of a group that is anti-Catholic to the core, perhaps because they are in an overwhelming majority nationalist part of the world they are not as in your face as say their brethren in Antrim, or they have always been thus, it doesn’t really matter.

    As a point of order regarding the I know nice orangeman testimony, I too know orangemen, one I’d known for a while………….and a nice unnassuming guy he was too. Another one is an actual real life pal of mine, shocker eh? None have been able to justify their involvement in an organisation like the OO beyond the usual nonsense that passes beyond what you have put up Alan.

  • Congal Claen

    Hi Prince,

    as you appear to have some knowledge on this, could you advise us, “just what these guys stand for”?

    Cheers in advance.

    PS anyone else’s irony meter go off the scale when David McKay was complaining about organisations with paramilitary links?

  • Alan N/ARDS

    Prionas Eoghann

    As I’ve said before I’m not a lover of the OO. I’m not a member and never will be and I agree with you that it needs to change parts of its constitution regarding the Catholic church. I will also say that christians should consider why they are in it. I know a number of former orangemen who left the order after becoming christians as it was not compatable with their new found christian beliefs. I would put the number of born again believers in the order at about 4%. I also believe that the leadership of the order is weak and with little backbone and in reality they are only playacting regarding christianity. I find this sad. What I also find sad is people who try to demonise others without really knowing them which is something I have been guilty of in my past. Maybe some of us here in NI could take a leaf out of Martin Luther King’s book and be a bit more charitable when speaking about people who we don’t really know.
    Maybe you should the book about Castlderg’s Young Defenders year during the marching season. It might make you look on the band culture in a different light. Who knows.

  • Prionsa Eoghann


    I dare say loyalist/unionist band culture is a great pastime………….until we look at what is involved in that culture. Considering the overall message of your contribution I’d reckon you would agree. I am sad sometimes and found myself watching and enjoying the pipe band championships which is staged not too far from my house at the Glasgow green. These bands were from various parts of the world including one each from the north and south of Ireland. The sense of camraderie and achievement came over loud and clear when viewing these guys offstage……………….but hey we don’t see these guys acting out the kind of attitudes displayed in the unionist/loyalist band culture.

    I have several dozen orange marches going by my place every year, the reasonably innofensive accordian type bands pale into insignificance beside the menacing aura of the kick the pope legions of mostly young guys shuffling along sans brown shirts. The reality is though that they are all the same, just express their bigotry in different ways.

    As far as judging Alan, again I ask how are we to view these people unless we take into consideration their chosen activities?

  • Prionsa Eoghann


    I have stated several times the odious nature of what these guys stand for, why do you desire me to repeat it yet again?

    I take it this excercise you are trying to embark on shows that you support the actions of these groups?

  • Congal Claen

    Hi Prince,

    I have never noticed anywhere on this site where you posted what these guys stand for. I have noticed that you have NO problem repeating such descriptions as “odious”, “orangies”, “huns”, “rednecks”, “hate-groups”, etc, etc. That’s on this page alone. You even mentioned “brown shirts”. Did you take the same irony classes as Davey McKay?

    So, go on, repeat one more time what it is they stand for. You know you want to…

  • Albert

    It seems the unionist population have taken a leaf out of Daithai and Ballymena SF’s book by gathering some video evidence from the protest. It will be intresting to see Daithai’s reply to this.

  • Cynic

    So he’s right but wrong then mark?

  • George

    Videos like this are making this whole situation worse. “Ethnic cleansing?” There is no ethnic cleansing in Rasharkin! What the DUP have done however have made the situation in Rasharkin seem a hundred times worse than it actually is. By doing that a lot of Protestant people wouldn’t even consider living in Rasharkin now from outside the area even though Protestants who do live there have no issue going about their lives. The end result essentially is that Protestants are actually less likely to move into Rasharkin because of the way the DUP have played this one. They’re well on their way to creating another Dunloy unless they go for a deal on this one now.

  • Blair
  • lamhdearg

    George this “Protestants who do live there have no issue going about their lives.” is crap the non irish nats that dare live in rasharkin today keep there heads down they are very few and they will soon be none. this also is the case in parts of ireland but in reverse. We are creataing little Srebrenica, all over.

  • Alan Maskey