POTD – Head of the Band

Albertbridge Road Moochin PhotomanPhotographer and visual artist based in Belfast. I have facilitated community based workshops with groups as diverse as visually impaired individuals in Dungannn, Travellers across Northern Ireland, Young Offenders and many community groups across Belfast. My work has exhibited extensively here in Northern Ireland in group and individual shows and has been shown in North America and i had my first solo international exhibition in New Zealand. I have been the recipient of a number of grants …

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Blood and Thunder…

As a long time reader of Slugger, the old chestnut of ‘big bad bands’ (over 660 in Northern Ireland alone) has had a regular airing. What is blatantly obvious however is that broadly speaking, Irish Nationalism simply doesnt understand or comprehend what bands are about. Put simply, marching and parading is an alien concept to Catholic Ireland and as such Irish Nationalists just ‘cant get their head around it’. Its overtly simplified into a practise thats sole purpose is to …

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Kevin Lynch Memorial Parade, Dungiven, 31st July 2011…

Illegal bass drum image as used by a RFB

Pictured are ‘The Spirit of Freedom’ Republican Flute Band, Derry, as on parade last Sunday (31st July 2011) in Dungiven. The parade was notifed as being orgainsed by the Kevin Lynch Memorial Flute Band. Along with this overtly paramilitary bass drum, other features of the event included the chanting of ‘I. R. A.’ prior to tunes by one band, and the blatantly deliberate routing of the parade past the towns only Presbyterian Church (several alternative and more logical routes were …

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No Free Presbyterian protest lodged against Belfast Pride Parade this year

belfast pride logo

Now in its 21st year after its first “run through the city centre” Belfast Pride has a week of activities (and a growing set of events on the fringe) surrounding the Saturday afternoon parade through Belfast city centre. This year only one group has registered a protest with the Parades Commission. So unless the normal protest from Sandown Free Presbyterian has merged in with the Stop the Parade Coalition, they must be staying at home on the afternoon of Saturday …

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Marching on a pin head as Belfast District LOL No 6 squares up to the Parades Commission (updated)

This morning, I headed across to the Orange Hall on the Albertbridge Road. The 31 Orange lodges that make up Belfast District LOL No 6 were converging to start their parade down Templemore Avenue, turning onto the Newtownards Road, and later joining up with the main Belfast parade (made up of 9 districts). (You can catch the video of their 25 minute parade through East Belfast down below.) There was much banging, tooting and just a little accordion heaving as …

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Drum Major showing off … (some) practice still needed

Traditionally the Belfast parade takes a twenty minute rest once the head of the parade reaches Marlborough Park. One Orange man – at this stage still standing in Bedford Street and no where near the leafy suburbs of South Belfast! – quipped that just because the boss man at the front of the parade has Barnett Demense (the ‘field’) in his sights, doesn’t mean to say the rest are even half way there. It’s a chance for the marchers to …

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POTD – Parade

With the Lord Mayors parade taking place in Belfast today i thought i’d post a photo from a parade i saw in Leogane Haiti which was the closest town to the epicentre of the Jan 2010 earthquake. On Easter Sunday i was taken there ostensibly because i wanted to flavour some of the local Rara music. What i wasn’t told was that every year the town holds a parade which commemorates the history of Haiti, from the first slaves arriving, …

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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. …

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Republicans, prisoners, parades and conflict

I previously noted the Independent Hunger Strike Commemoration parade that applied for permission from the Parades Commission and how this was at least one reason RSF refused to support it. Last week’s parade in support of Republican prisoners in Belfast, organised by RSF, didn’t apply for permission and was allowed to take place unhindered (it was a smallish affair as the bulk of those supporting prisoners met in the Conway Mill). Now the Families, Friends and Ex-POWs group are organising …

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