Bomb scare in Armagh reroutes main St Patrick’s Day parade…

Just hearing about a bomb scare in Market Street College Street in the centre of Armagh, pushing the main parade out of the centre of town (and where tonight’s Band Parade is due to walk)…  No reports on the size of the parade, but the bomb scare cannot do anything to ease tensions regarding the Ulster band parade tonight… It’s worth noting that it has been many years since the last bomb scare in the city…

  • Orange Democrats
  • Drumlins Rock

    Mick, just back from Armagh, they were getting the robot out when I drove past an hour ago, College St is part of tonight parade route, but even if not open by then it would be easy enough to go down Russel St instead, ironically it isn’t on the other parade route this afternoon, but was close enough to re-route it I hear.

    As for crowds of drunken nationalist, I didn’t see any, most of the shops were closing for the day, the chippies were busy, but apart from that the crowds were thining out quite quickly. No sign of band parade spectators arriving yet.

    I didn’t see the Armagh parade, but saw the Dungannon one, enjoyed seeing the AOH banners, the bands were ok but in a different league from most loyalist bands. A mixture of Irish flags were carried, in a respectful and dignified manner, although the teenagers with tri-colours round their shoulders or waist just cheapened themselves and the flag. Not a big parade, would like to have seen more actually.

  • socaire

    Good point DR about the flags. It used to amaze me to see the Union Jack used as everything from a towel to boxers. As you say, it just cheapens them and the flag – any flag.

  • Mick Fealty

    Unconfirmed report of another scare in an named Protestant estate. but there seems to no inequality but the bands out as the bands set off at least. Lets hope it stays that way.

  • socaire

    No spik the English too good Mick. Can you rewrite her?

  • lamhdearg2

    bbc say “Hoax”. Mick enjoying the guinness?.

  • Mick Fealty

    Yep. barrel with some wires sticking out. Someone was clearly determined to stir up serious trouble, and depended on the people of Armagh who were nowhere near as angry onear as angry or intolerant as some would make them out to be.

  • Billy Pilgrim

    What will it take to make you acknowledge you were wrong to support the aggression of the Kick the Pope bandsmen?

    The people of Armagh will not take half-pissed lectures from some English Tory about ‘tolerance.’

  • Mick Fealty

    I’ve never said they were right. But its hard to deny that resorting to planting a hoax as opposed to calling on a popular action does give a slightly different perspective on the matter than the one offered previously.

  • lamhdearg2

    anyone on the ground?, there is nothing on the bbc about trouble, so all quite?.

  • Mick Fealty

    I think so. So far. Should be over by nine; then we’ll know.

  • 2 frys 2 teas

    Just back home there from tonight’s parade in Armagh. Stood most of the time at the top of Upper English Street and not a hint of trouble.

    Was talking to Quincey briefly and he was in full organisational mode…

    Went well and everyone seemed to disperse quickly…. Probably due to the near zero temps….

  • mid ulsterman

    Many years since there was a bomb in Armagh drumlin rocks?? look at this..
    http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-1268226/Northern-Ireland-County-Armagh-car-bomb-explosion-injures-two.html

    No excuse for this to happen yesterday. These people are only interested in a divided population, nothing to do with Irish Unity!!

  • mid ulsterman
  • mid ulsterman

    how can you say irish flags were carried in a dignified manor, then say they were cheapened by youths..It was either dignified or it wasn’t. It’s the overall impression thats important, you cannot pick the good points and ignore the rest. The day was ruined for many people and traders. In these times, traders are suffering enough without this kind of incident. The parade is an opportunity to show the rest of the world how we can come out and support our community in peace. Terrible shame..

  • between the bridges

    as 2f2t’s says it was a bit chilly! excellent parade well run and supported, i think there where 43 bands making it the biggest event of its kind on the island. also as mick says credit to all the people of armagh for not falling for the drama queen hype!

  • Drumlins Rock

    dissenter, excellent blog piece there by Darach, everyone should read it, glad it all went so well, maybe try to get over next year.

  • between the bridges

    re Darach MacDonald’s article i liked the summary..”.The peace process was enhanced, not damaged, by this year’s St Patrick’s Day Parade hosted by the Cormeen Rising Sons of William. Last night, thousands of Protestants – many of whom openly said they had not been to a parade for some time – celebrated their stake in Ireland and its cultural heritage by showcasing their tradition of military-style marching bands.
    They found a reason to be proud to be Irish according to their own Ulster Protestant traditions and a magnificent occasion to express it inthe way to know best. We should all be grateful for that.”

  • between the bridges
  • I attended the Cormeen Rising Sons of William parade on the 17th evening. It was an extremely well organised event. The bandsmen and women of Cormeen gave up their right to parade their own event to placate the legion of whingers who were predicting an apocolapse if this event allowing Prods through ‘their city’ on their ‘Patricks day’ were allowed to take place.

    They had HV jackets emblazoned with Armagh Bands Forum and walkie talkies positioned all along the route No band moved without the sayso of the stewards and it was like a highly efficent military operation.

    The only trouble was caused by two drunken nationalist teenagers who shouted sectarian abuse and obsenities at the bandsmen not one of whom either replied to or broke ranks and it was left to the police to take them away to dry out.

    As for Conor Murphy he had been that busy discriminating against Protestants in his Stormont department he thought he could extend that to the streets of Armagh well it didnt work here either Conor

    I say well done Cormeen you have done the Ulster Scots community proud. The dignity and decorum shown in the face of manufactured ire and hostility was incredible. You have taken back into our ken Saint Patrick who is now no longer the sole preserve of only one community and that you are a real credit to the colours that you so proudly wear. See you all in Armagh again next year.