Law what fucking law? They make it up as they go along!!!!
‘They should in fact be thoroughly investigating this with a view to a prosecution. Who else is going to do it? Who else is going to uphold the law? - Alban Maginness
POLICE have been accused of “ignoring” a loyalist parade application form which failed to properly identity the organisers. The commission last night confirmed it has “referred” the matter to the PSNI/RUC. However, when contacted, poNorthern st night refused to say if they have started an investigation.
The Irish News revealed yesterday that the Parades Commission has given the controversial parade the ggo-ahead, despite the application form being incomplete. Loyal Peaceful Protesters say 10,000 people and 30 bands could take part in the parade through Belfast city centre on Saturday January 11. Business leaders and politicians have urged organisers to call off. Under the law (in the North of Ireland), the organiser should have filled out and signed an 11-1 form which is handed in to a local police station. A section of that form is then filled out by a police officer (with a rank of no lower than a sargent or higher) and forwarded to the Parades Commission for consideration. However, the form was signed by the “organising committee” rather than an individual (which it an illegal act). A spokesman for the Parades Commission said: “Under the Public Processions Act (1998) an offence may have been committed if the name and address of the person organising the event has not been provided. As this is potentially a criminal matter the issue has been referred to the PSNI. “With regard to this proposed event, the commission considered that it had sufficent information to make a determination,” he said. SDLP justice spokeman Alban Maginness accused the police of “ignoring this issue” and described their response as “wrong.” “They should in fact be thoroughly investigating this with a veiw to a prosecution if in fact an offence has taken place. “Who else is going to do it? Who else is going to uphold the law?
“It’s not the Parades Commission’s job and the Public Prosecution Service can’t act without necessary evidence coming from the PSNI.” The North Belfast MLA said he was disappointed by the police response. “It dosn’t encourage me that the police are adopting this attitude which seems to me to be ignoring the real issue that arises here (two teir policing). “I would hope that the police will look at this again and address the issue properly.” Similar marches through Belfast in September and November broke the law after Parades Commission rulings were ignored by oranisers. sked if they were going to investigate the lack of a name on the form, a spokesman for the PSNI/RUC would only say: “In relation to the Parades Commission determination for a notified public procession on Saturday 11 January 2014, the PSNI will deploy evidence gatherers and similar to other public processions, where breaches of the determination occur these will be investigated. The role of the Police Service of Northern Ireland under the Public Processions (Nortern Ireland) Act 1998 is to receive the ‘Notice Of Intention To Organise A Public Procession’ and forward it onto the Parades Commission.”
10,000 supporters expected says group
‘Continually organising parades is not going to advance any cause - Glyn Roberts.
LOYALISTS are to hold a mass parade down Belfast’s main shopping thoroughfare for the third time in four months. The first major loyalist march of 2014 comes days after talks held by senior US diplomat Richard Haass failed to reach aggreement on parades, flags and the past.
The Irish News can also reveal that the organisers, who say 10,000 people will attend, have been given Parades Commission perAlban despite their application form being incomplete. The form was signed by the ‘organising committee’ rather than an individual. Following a similar parade along Donegal Place and Royal Avenue in November, the organiser John ‘Dougie’ Lanigan (pictured officeron right) was questioned by police in “connection with a breach of a Parades Commission determination”. He was later released pending a report to the Public Prosecution Service. Business leaders and nationalist politicians are concerned that a third city-centre parade to take place on Saturday of next week. Similar parades took place last September and November. Both broke the law after organisers ignored commission rulings. Glyn Roberts, chief executive of Northern Ireland Independant Retail Trade Association, urged loyalists to reconsider the tactic of holding such protests. “I would urge anybody considering parades to give the city centre a break,” he said. “I don’t think it’s very helpful. The people behind the parades could have their voices heard in the process. Continually organising parades is not going to advance any cause.” The organisers say the parade has been arranged to highlight “PSNI brutality, loyalist prisoners, the flag, civil rights and political policing”.
The latest parade, will take place on Saturday January 11, is to leave Belfast City Hall before passing through Donegal Place and up Royal Avenue – Belfast’s busiest shopping street. It will then make its way through the Shankill area before ending at Ballysillan Leisure Centre Car Park which is owned by Belfast City Council. Organisers wanted to start at 1pm, however, in one of its last acts the outgoing Parades Commission ruled it must be clear of Royal Avenue/North Street junction by 12.30. A spokesman for the council last night confirmed that it has not received any requests for the use of the leisure centre car park. Chief executive of the Northern Ireland Retail Trade Association Glyn Roberts said: “January is a key time in the retail calender. “I would hope if this parade is going ahead they should aim to be clear at the start of lunch time and it goes without saying keep it peaceful.” Mr Roberts said it was “disappointing with Haass” and urged loyalists to reconsider the tactic of holding city centre protests. “I would urge anybody considering parades to give the city centre a break,” he said. “I don’t think it’s very helpful…. Continually organising parades is not going to advance any cause.” North Belfast SDLP assembly member Alban Maginness slammed the latest parade plan. “It’s the same old thing that happened in 2013 and they are trying to repeat it in 2014 and I think that it is, to say the least, reprehensible and it’s certinly not going to lead to a resolution of any problems to do with parades,” he said. “As I said before they have made their point and there’s no value in them proceeding with such parades or demonstrations this year as it’s not going to go anywhere.” North Belfast Shame Fein councillor Gerard McCabe has called for the parade to be called off. “I would urge the organisers of this parade to rethink their position in order to give the political parties who are still considering the Haass proposals in an effort to reach a resolution to the remaining difficulties,” he said.
With many thanks to: Connla Young, The Irish News.
Organiser fails to sign form
PARADING law needs to be “urgently reviewed” after it emerged the organiser of a loyalist parade planned for Belfast next weekend failed to sign a form given notice of the event.
Despite this the Parades Commission has given the go-ahead for up to 10,000 loyalists and 30 bands to march through Belfast city centre on January 11. Under the law organisers of parades are required to fill out an 11-1 form at a police station which is passed on to the Parades Commission for consideration. It emerged last night that the 11-1 form for next week’s Loyal Peaceful Protesters parade through Belfast city centre has been signed by the ‘organising committee’ rather than an individual. In it’s determination for the march the Parades Commission noted that “the declaration and signature of the organiser is not that of a person but that of the organising committee”. The commission has referred the matter to the PSNI,” it said. A section of the 11-1 form must also be filled out by a police officer not below the rank of sergeant.
when contacted a spokesman for the PSNI said it was a matter for the Parades Commission. The development comes just weeks after both the PSNI and Parades Commission refused to publish the names of parade organisers for “data protection” reasons. Last month Antrim man John ‘Dougie’ Lanigan was questioned by police after a Parades Commission ruling was broken during Loyal Peaceful Protester parade through Belfast city centre in November. He was later released pending a report to the Public Prosecution Service. North Belfast SDLP assembly member Alban Maginness said: “By putting down the name of the organisation they are avoiding and evading any personal legal liability. “What this highlights is a weakness in the law in relation to the identification of the individuals personally responsible for organising parades as opposed to an organisation collective responsibility. “The whole area of parading law needs to be urgently reveiwed because it seems to me there are gaps in the law.”
With many thanks to: Connla Young,The Irish News.
LOYALIST (half wit) flags protester Willie Frazer completed his ‘charity bed push’ yesterday – without a bed. The victims’ campaigner was joined by about 20 people as they walked through North Belfast.
Mr Frazer plans to hold illegal parades without notifying the Parades Commission. He says he has been left with no choice. The 53-year-old, who faces charges in relation to flag protests, wanted to raise funds for victims to travel to Libya as part of a legal case over the former regime’s support for the IRA. However, the commission noted that no street collection permit had been applied for by the organiser and it would therefore be illegal for money to be collected along the route. The commission banned the walk from passing Ardoyne. Instead it stopped at Hesketh Road. Police attended to ensure that the event obeyed the ruling. Mr Frazer said the bed push had been turned into a political event by the commission. “It was an opportunity for them to deal with a charity event in the right way but they didn’t do that and that’s why we didn’t bring the bed – we’ll do that when we do our walk properly,” he said. “Their mindset is that if you’re a Protestant and you have a cause, they will defy you. “We’re not going to give any more pre-warnings. There’s no point. We’re just going to turn up in places where it will be controversial.
- Willie Frazer seeks legal advice over ‘bed push’ plans (newsletter.co.uk)
- Commission Puts Brakes on Frazer Bed Push in Belfast (belfastdaily.co.uk)
- Loyalist campaigner Frazer arrested (bbc.co.uk)
- Flag protester Willie Frazer will dress as Abu Hamza for court date (belfasttelegraph.co.uk)
- Video: Willie Frazer and Ruth Patterson at loyalist march (newsletter.co.uk)
A FLUTE band played music outside a Catholic church in “a concerted act of defiance” at parading restrictions, a court heard on Monday. Fists were pumped in the air as Pride of Ardoyne passed St Patrick’s Church in Donegall Street, North Belfast, prosecutors claimed.
A judge was told of the alleged demeanor and behaviour of some as two drummers denied a charge of knowingly flouting a condition imposed by the Parades Commission. Co Down man Thomas Beresford, was sentenced to three months for the offence during last year’s Ulster Covenant centenary parade. On Mr Michael Cosby and Richard Dunn insisted they were unaware that only a single drum beat was to be played on the contentious stretch of their route along Donegal Street. Eyesight and reading limitations formed part of the defence case. Their case, in which the verdict was reserved, comes less than a week after a bandsman was jailed for flouting a Parades Commission determination by playing sectarian tunes while passing St Matthew’s Catholic Church in East Belfast. Mr Cosby (51) of Wheatfield Drive, and Mr Dunn (26) from Alliance Road – both in Belfast – are jointly accused of failing to comply with the determination in August last year. The alleged breach occured as their band made its way into the city centre during the Royal Black Institution parade. Belfast Magistrates Court heard police had put signs along the route and on Land Rovers warning of the restriction.
The band appeared to be playing The Dambusters tune as it passed the Catholic church. CCTV footage of the incident also showed protesters holding a banner stating: “Respect St Patrick’s Church”. John O’Neill QC, prosecuting, argued that band members should have realised from the signs and conter-demonstration that it was not an ordinary situation. Dealing with the demeanour of some of those in and following Pride of Ardoyne, he said: “There are fists being pumped in the air and there are shouts at the crowd. “The prosecution suggest this isn’t a band innocently and accidentally playing music they shouldn’t. “Rather, it’s a concerted act of defiance.” He acknowledged, however, that neither defendant was seen pumping their fists. Both men insisted they were never told of the single drumbeat condition and spotted no notifications. Mr Cosby, a bass drummer who has been in the band for 35 years, told the court he only had vision in one eye. “I just didn’t see the signs,” he said. “I wasn’t told on the day about the determination.” Mr Dunn, a side drummer who joined Pride of Ardoyne 21 years ago, was just as adamant. As part of his defence he said his focus was on his two children parading directly in front of him. His limited reading abilities were also cited. “I can read but not great. The wife helps the kids with homeworks,” he said. Keith Gamble, defending, argued that neither of his clients had a case to answer. “It should be for the prosecution to prove that the defendant knowingly failed to comply,” he said. “It’s not enough to say we put signs up and they should have seen the signs.” However, District Judge Amanda Henderson refused the defence attempt to have the case thrown out. She will study the CCTV footage again before giving her verdict later this month.
With thanks to: The Irish News.
‘If I am prosecuted I intend to defend any charge against me - John Lanigan.
One of the organisers of a mass loyalist protest through Belfast City Centre has accused the Parades Commission and the PSNI/RUC of attempting to “influence” the prosecution service to bring a case against him. Ex-British armed forces soldier, John Lanigan was identified as the organiser of the December 2 Loyal Peoples Protest parade where an application was made for 10,000 supporters and 40 bands, to march along Royal Avenue on one of the busiest shopping days of the year.
In the end just over 1,000 people attended the march. Two police officers were injured in scuffles in North Belfast as protesters were trying to force an illegel march past the Ardoyne shops on their return journey home from the city centre parade. Protesters also flouted a commission determination by remaining at the city hall for over an hour after the area should have been cleared while there were other further breaches of the ruling. Despite repeated calls for the parade’s applicant to be named and identified, the Parades Commission and the police had refused to reveal who had signed the parade application. Lanigan’s identity was subsequently revealed by The Irish News. However, on Monday he hit out claiming that elements of the media, the PSNI/RUC and Parades Commission were putting out “incorrect and misleading” information about him, although he did not say what this was. He further claimed his computer has been “hecked” and accused police and the Parades Commission of making statements that were a “transparent attempt to influence and put pressure on the PPS to prosecute” him.
In a statement released through his solicitor Mr Lanigan, who is orginally from Belfast but lives in Antrim, said he would make complaints to both the Police Ombudsman and the Press Complaints Commission about his alleged treatment. Mr Lanigan also said his picture has appeared on republican websites and claimed he had received threats. “As a result of this parade I have been vilified in the local media,” he said. “I cooperated with police at all times. I was very anxious that there would be no trouble at the parade and thankfully, the parade passed off peacefully”. He added: “If I am prosecuted I intend to defend any charge against me. I have since had my photograph published, both in newspapers and social media websites, as well as republican websites. “I have received threats against me and I consider these threats to be against both my life and my family’s lives. “I beleive that my personal computer was has been hecked into, as well as my private page on social media. “I have instructed my solicitor to issue complaints to both the police ombudsman and the Press Complaints Commission and take any other action to defend both my privacy and incorrect reports about me, as well as hoping to ensure there is no further unwelome instruction (sic) into my private life”.
‘My problem was never with the traders. We never set out to target trade – Jamie Bryson.
Sandy Row Orange Lodge announced last night that it had taken a decision to postpone a parade through Belfast city centre this Saturday. In a statement, it said the decision was taken “after listening to city centre traders and the local community; and in light of the heightened level of security due to Republican terrorism”. It said it beleived a further parade “at this time through the city centre would not be in the interests of our fellow citizens and therefore as an act of goodwill in this Christmas season we have decided to postpone the parade until early in the New Year”. “The Parades Commission again sought to criminalise Unionists by their determinaton; however, we will not fall into their trap. When we next notify to parade the current Commission will thankfully be gone,” it said. “The support for our Ligoniel brethren remains resolute and indeed we would continue to encourage our members and friends to support the ongoing protest and parades at Camp Twaddell and the Woodvale Road.”
Meanwhile, a loyalist parade planned for Bangor on December 21 has also been postponed until the new year after traders met with organisers. Last month prominent flag prostester Jamie Bryson, revealed plans to bring 2,500 people and 14 bands through the seaside town on the last Saturday before Christmas and one of the busiest shopping days of the year. Oganised by the North Down Ards branch of the Ulster People’s Forum (UPF), the parade was intended to highlight complaints against the PSNI by loyalists and protest at the decision by Belfast City Council to restrict the flying of the Union Flag at City Hall a year ago. The Bangor parade was called off after talks beween local traders and organisers last week during which local business people voiced their fears that trade would be hit “during such a sensitive and fragile trading period”. President of Bangor Chamber of Commerce, Ken Sharp, said had the parade gone ahead the impact would have been “immeasurable”. “The chamber beleives in engaging with as many parts of the wider Bangor community as possible to work togeather for the improvement of Bangor through investment, trade and jobs.” Flag protester Jamie Bryson said the disputed parade will take place early in the new year. “My problem was never with the traders. We never set out to target trade,” he said.
With many thanks to: Connla Young and Marie Louise McCrory, The Irish News.
Parades body criticised over lack of restrictions!
NATIONALISTS have accused a loyalist band of playing “sectarian” music during an Apprentice Boys parade past a North Belfast flashpoint. Carrick Hill residents said The Sash and Derry’s Walls were played as bandmen passed the nationalist district on Saturday evening.
They also said that minutes earlier the band played music while passing nearby St Patrick‘s Church on Donegall Street as Apprentice Boys made their way home from the annual Lundy parade in Derry. Nationalist residents were critical of the Parades Commission after it failed to restrict the playing of music in the area. In the past loyalst bands have played sectarian music as they passed both the church and Carrick Hill. Locals last night said that up to 50 Apprentice Boys and one band passed St Patrick’s as parishioners were making their way into church for Mass. Carrick Hill Concerned Residents’ Group spokesman Frank Dempsey critiicised the Parades Commission for not placing restrictions. “The Parades Commission sent a band down here knowing well Mass was on and they put no restrictions on the music,” he said. Police last night confirmed that an 18-year-old man was arrested for disorderly behaviour and resisting police at Cliftion Street during the parade and later charged. He is expected to appear at Belfast Magistrates Court on January 3.
In North Belfast two nationalist residents groups called off protests during an Apprentice Boys feeder parade past Ardoyne on Saturday. One band and up to 115 people took part in the march past the flashpoint. Tensions in the area have been high since the Parades Commission banned Orangemen from passing the nationalist district as they made their way home from their annual Twelfth celebrations in July. A loyalist protest camp has been set up on nearby wasteground while nightly parades are held in the area. Greater Ardoyne Residents Collective (GARC) spokesman Dee Fennell said they suspended plans for a protest “to reduce tension, give traders respite and reduce disruption” in the area. Crumlin and Ardoyne Residents’ Association (CARA) spokesman Joe Marley said their protest was called off as a “gesture of goodwill”. Meanwhile, up to 3,000 poeple and 31 bands took part in the main Apprentice Boys parade in Derry on Saturday commemorating the 17th century siege of the city. It passed off without incident and was described as a success. An Apprentice Boys feeder parade in Castlederg, Co Tyrone, also passed off peacefully. Meanwhile, Parades Commission chairman Peter Osborne has accused some politicians in the north of providing bad leadership. He was speaking after an illegal loyalist parade was held through Belfast city centre on November 30. Police confirmed last week that the organiser of the parade had been interveiwed and would be prosecuted, while The Irish News also revealed that a bandsman involved in a march past St Matthew’s Church in East Belfast last year has become the first person to be given a jail term for breaching a Parades Commission ruling. “I am not happy that anybody is being posecuted for parades-related offences and other offences that will have a hugely detrimental impact on their life,” he told the BBC. “I think there’s some bad leadership in the North of Ireland at the minute, the result of which there are a lot of young people being arrested and prosecuted and have criminal records when they really don’t need to have.”
With many thanks to: Connla Young, The Irish News.
‘It seems some are more equal than others in Castlederg in the eyes of the Parades Commission – Ruairi McHugh.
SINN Fein has hit out at the Parades Commission after it ruled an Apprentice Boys parade could march through a nationalist area of Castlederg this weekend.
The Apprentice Boys will march through the Co Tyrone town on Saturday morning and evening. The commission placed restrictions on the evening parade, preventing it from marching through Priest’s Lane, Ferguson Crescent, Killeter Road and Alexander Park. But the commission has allowed the morning parade to move through the predominantly nationalist Ferguson Crescent area. The feeder parades are part of the annual Lundy’s Day parade in Derry on Saturday. Around 2,500 Apprentice Boys are expected to take part in the Derry parade. There have been heightened community tensions in Castlederg following several loyalist parades and a controversial republican commemoration over the summer. Sinn Fein Castlederg councillor Ruairi Mc Hugh said it is the first time a loyalist march has been allowed to pass through Ferguson Crescent,without restrictions, since 2006. He accused the commission of “double standards”. “There has been upwards of 20 unionist parades of one type or another in Castlederg this year alone, which is totally disproportionate given the demographics of the town,” he said. Mr McHugh said as far as he was aware, the parade’s organisers had not attempted to consult with people in Ferguson Cerscent about the march. This determination stands in stark contrast to the sole Republician commemoration this year in August which the commission blocked from even entering our own town centre, which made a mockery of the town centre being a shared space for all the communities in Castlederg,” he said. “It seems some are more equal in Castlederg in the eyes of the Parades Commission.”
- Parade organiser named (seachranaidhe1.wordpress.com)
- Uup: Dup and Sinn Fein in Reverse Over Parades Dispute (belfastdaily.co.uk)
- Sinn Fein Haass paper calls for truth commission (newsletter.co.uk)
- Sinn Fein must rethink demands for Richard Haass deal to work, says DUP (belfasttelegraph.co.uk)
- Sinn Fein accused of ‘bad faith’ over publishing paper on its submissions to envoy Richard Haass (belfasttelegraph.co.uk)
In what is beleived to be the first case of its kind, Co Down man Thomas Beresford was sentenced to three months behind bars for flouting the ban on playing sectarian music during last year’s Ulster Covenant centenary parade. A co-accused had his three-month jail term suspended yesterday at Belfast Magistrates Court, while another member had his case adjourned until the new year. The banbsmen had been identified in footage of the Holywood True Blues band playing The sash as they passed St Matthew‘s on Newtownards Road in east Belfast on September 29. The commission had ruled that only hymns or a single drumbeat could be played as they passed the church.
The development came as police cobfirmed they had closed their investigation into a loyalist bandsman caught on camera urinating outside St Matthew’s during the same parade. There was outrage in the wake of the incident, with the Orange Order describing the bandsman’s actions as “outrageous and unacceptable”. Although it is known which band he belonged to, police have never been able to identify the bandsman. A police spokesman said the “corresponding police investigation into this summary of evidence could not conclusively identify the individual”. “As with any summary offence, it becomes statute-barred after a six month period, which therefore means that this investigation is now closed.” The covenant parade – which brought thousands of Orangeman, bands and supporters onto the streets to mark the centenary of the signing of the document opposing Home Rule – had been marred by sectarian scenes and multiple parade ruling breaches. Loyalist residents held up banners that read ‘We don’t want hymns’ and ‘Play Loud and Proud’ during the march near St Matthew’s. Some stopped brefiy outside the church while banned tunes such as The sash and the Famine Song were played. Beresford, of Strathearn Court in Holywood, has been released on bail pending a date for appeal.
Police close probe into urinating loyalist!
“Outrageous and unacceptable”
POLICE have closed their investigation into a loyalist bandsman caught on camera urinating outside a Catholic church during an Orange Order parade in Belfast last year.
The man, a member of Burnside Sons of Ulster from near Doagh, Co Antrim was photographed urinating outside St Matthew’s Catholic Churh during the Ulster Covenant centenary parade last September. Police said yesterday that they had not managed to identify the man and have now closed their investigation in line with the law. The Orange Order launced their own probe (ha,ha,ha,) but the bandsman was never identified. The Orange Order would only say that the band had expressed “regret” (another fucking joke) and sent its members on a “good relations course” (are they having a fucking laugh). The development comes after a bandsman was jailed on Tuesday for breaching a Parades Commission ruling at the same parade. Thomas Beresford is beleived to be the first person jailed for breaching a determination after playing sectarian songs outside the Catholic church. There were angry scenes in Belfast Magistrates Court as the 21-year-old, from Strathearn Court in Holywood, was sentenced to serve three months in jail for floutinga ban on playing non-sacred music while passing St Matthew’s. Relatives of the bass drummer were warned to be queit after they shouted in court that the sentence was “a disgrace”. A district judge said having “considered a pre-sentence report” was of the opinion that the offence “was so serious that only such a sentence can be justified”.
His co accused 28-year-old Stephen Walker, from Church Green in Holywood, had a three-month jail term suspended for 18 months. A third band member Darren Walker (20), from Thornleigh Park in Lisburn, had his case adjourned until the new year. Breaching a parades commission ruling is a summary offence, which was normally dealt with in the past by way of a fine of probation orders. The men had been identified in footage of the Holywood True Blues band playing The Sash as they passed the Newtownards Road church in east Belfast, on September 29. The parades body had ruled that only hymns or a single drum beat could be played by bands as they passed the church. Police displayed flashing signs warning ‘Sacred tunes, hymns only from this point’ as bandsmen approached. At a previous hearing a judge described claims by bandsmen that they had not seen flashing warning signs as “inconceivable and incredible”. Beresford was released on bail pending a date for the appeal. There were a catalogue of breaches of the commissions determination amid sectarian scenes at the east Belfast flashpoint during last year’s Covenant parade. Loyalist residents held up banners stating ‘We don’t want hymns’ and ‘Play Loud and Proud’ during the march. Many of the bands taking part in the return leg of the march breached the parades commission ruling. Some stopped briefly outside the church while banned tunes such as The Sash and The Famine Song were played. Bands who adhered to the ruling and played a single drum beat were jeered by some of those lining the route.
With many thanks to: Allison Morris and Claire Simpson, The Irish News.
- Parade organiser named (seachranaidhe1.wordpress.com)
- Bandsmen convicted over ‘The Sash’ (bbc.co.uk)
- Duo jailed for rioting during Twelfth disorder (belfasttelegraph.co.uk)
- PUP sows confusion as councillor backtracks on loyalist protest parade in Belfast (belfasttelegraph.co.uk)
- Band members who played The Sash outside Catholic church ‘broke parade conditions’ (belfasttelegraph.co.uk)