Loyalist Mark Harbinson in bid to set up ‘Orange Vanguard’ to oppose Brexit border in the Irish Sea

Convicted Child Sex Offender and suspected member of the Orange Volunteers now setting up ‘Orange Vanguard’

Stoneyford loyalist and convicted child sex offender Mark Harbinson

LOYALIST Mark Harbinson is attempting to set up his own ‘Orange Vanguard’ to oppose the proposed Brexit trade deal that will see a border checks in Northern Ireland. Harbinson, who was once a high-profile Orangeman, is attempting to garner support for an ‘Ulster Day of Action’. The 53-year-old has been calling on loyalists to join him on September 19th, at a venue yet to be confirmed, to oppose Boris Johnson’s Brexit deal which is seen by many loyalists as a betrayal. Loyalists from various groups have been invited to meet Harbinson to plan the formation of a new group calling itself the ‘Orange Vanguard’. Harbinson has sent messages to supporters through loyalist forums and social media pages in recent weeks saying: “Keep the date free. If you don’t want an Irish Sea border you’ll want to support this.”

The controversial loyalist held an event close to his Stoneyford home on July 11th to gauge support for his plans. He was shunned by many loyalists after being found guilty of child abuse but retained a small hardcore ofsupport despite the nature of his conviction. In 2011 the Stoneyford-based loyalist was convicted of sexually abusing a 13-year-old girl he met when he was a leading member of the Pride of the Village Flute Band in Stoneyford. Because of time already spent in custody, he served two years. At his trial the jury failed to reach a verdict on five other charges including indecent assault. He was acquitted of indecently assaulting a 12-year-old schoolboy.

Harbinson was originally caught by police with the schoolgirl in his car on October 26th 2009. Police also found images of the child topless on his phone. Analysis of the handset showed more than 1,000 contacts between him and the very young victim. A once prominent member of the Orange Order, and former member of the UDR, he rose to prominence during the Drumcree dispute in Portadown. Following his conviction he was expelled from the Orange Order. In 2012 he failed to have the conviction overturned shouting “no surrender” in a courtroom outburst as the judgement was delivered.

UDA-UDR-UVF Spot the difference? Answer: There is no difference

A year later, he reinvolved himself with the flute band despite a court order banning him from having involvement with voluntary groups or charitable organisations involving children. A court heard that in May 2013, he telephoned and then wrote an email to the Parades Commission in protest at restrictions they had imposed on the flute band, signing it ‘Mark Harbinson, Pride of the Village spokesman’. The following year, he was handed a three-month suspended sentence after being found guilty of breaching a sexual offences prevention order. In July 2018 he was acquitted of firearms charges after a three-day trial. A gun, silencer and ammunition were located wrapped in yellow dusters in a biscuit tin in a woodshed in one of the outbuildings at Harbinson’s rural home in December 2015.

With many thanks to: The Irish News and Allison Morris Security Correspondent -a.morris@irishnews.com for the original story 
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THE Parades Commission has granted permission for a mass loyalist band parade in the mixed village of Stoneyford, with restrictions placed on the time bandsmen must disperse.


Sinn Fein met with police yesterday. to discuss concerns at a “ratcheting” of tensions in the village following the release of convicted paedophile Mark Harbinson, pictured, who left Mibandgan prison last month having serto thed a sentence for abusing a 13-year-old girl. Harbinson, who is on the sex offenders register until 2017, is banned from being in the company of anyone under the age of 18 without permission of social services. Despite this he has reinvolved himself with the Pride of the Village flute band he helped found and has been seen in the company of teenagers at a bonfire site on the ouskirts of Stoneyford. A parade in the village on June 29 involving 20 bands and 1,000 supporters will now go ahead after permission was granted by the commission. However, the commission ruled loyalists must disperse by 9.30pm and not 11pm as was orgionally applied for.

Convicted Paedophile Mark Harbinson.

Prior to his imprisonment Harbinson (a former leader of the Orange Volenteers ) and his supporters waged a sectarian campaign in the village for many years with a number of nationalist families forced to flee the area. Sinn Fein assembly member for South Antrim Mitchel McLoughlin met the PSNI yesterday to express concerns and seek assurances that the Parades Commission determination would be fully upheld. “Over the past weeks we have seen the erection of flags, the return of a bonefire at the reservior and the application by the Pride of the Village flute band to parade for several hours around the town,” he said. “These events can only be described as deliberately sectarian and provocative in order to raise tensions in the village. “Further to this we raised the issue of Mark Harbinson’s return to the village and his reinvolvement in both the local flute band and the bonefire. “We have stressed to the PSNI that this is a volatile situation which needs to be monitored. There can be no return to the sectarian intimidation and attacks that blighted the village a number of years ago. “Given that the Parades Commission determination has placed restrictions on this parade there is now an onus on the PSNI to ensure that these conditions are met.”

With many thanks to : Allison Morris, Irish News.


Sex offender banned from being within 100m of areas where kids congregate.

CONCERNS have been raised about how police and social services are monitoring a hhigh-profile loyalist jailed for sexually abusing a 13-year-old schoolgirl. Convicted paedophile Mark Harbinson (45) received a three-and-a-half year sentence for molesting the schoolgirl and having topless pictures of her on his mobile phone


Harbinson, from sheepwalk Road in Stoneyford, was released from Magilligan Prison last month. He will remain monitored by police, probition and social services as a convicted sex offender untill May 2017. Among the restrictions placed upon him are he must not communicate or associate with any youths under 18-years-of-age. However, it is beleived that since his release Harbinson has reinvolved himself with The Pride of the Village flute band despite the band having very young members. The group has applied to hold a mass band parade through the village involving 20 bands and more than 1,000 supporters next Sarurday. Residents say Harbinson has also been seen in the company of teenagers at a loyalist bonfire site on the outskirts of Stoneyford, in direct breach of his release conditions. These state he must not be within 100 meters of areas “where children congregate without prior notification of Social Services”.

Police have been asked to clarify if Harbinson – who was expelled from the Orange Order following his conviction – has breached the terms of his release since returning to the area. South Antrim MLA Michel McLaughlin is to meet the PSNI area district commander today. Mr McLaughlin said peope had raised concerns about Harbinson return to the village and tensions linked to it. “There has not been a bonefire in this village for sometime,” he said. “I understand that Mark Herbinson has involved himself in the village band and was seen on Tuesday afternoon in the company of youths at the bonefire site,” he said. “I will be meeting with police to hear how they intend handling the situation in Stoneyford.”

Answers sought over paedophile’s possible breach of release terms.

Restrictions placed upon him include :

  • That he must not “without reasonable excuse cause or excuse from directly initiating any comnunicition with or initiating access to and having association with any children under the age of 18.
  • Having any young person under 18 in any vehicle which he owns or has access to without prior approval from Social Services and his Designated Risk Manger.
  • Possessing any software including mobile telephone/ computer technology/ camera, which would store files or images of young persons unless approved by his designated risk manger.
  • Having in his possession any photograph of a child under the age of 18 years without prior approval from Social Services and his Designated Risk Manger.
  • Participating in any voluntary or charitable organisation without the appoval of his risk manger.

He must also allow police and social services access to his home at any time to search the premises to ensure he is a biding by the terms of his release.

With many thanks to : Allison Morris, Irish News.


Meanwhile, a loyalist band founded by convicted peadophile Mark Harbinson is seeking permission to hold a late-night parade with 20 bands and more than 1,000 supporters through the mixed Co Antrim village of Stoneyford.

Mark Harbinson Sick Paedophile

Harbinson, who was freed from jail last month having served a three-and-a-half-year sentence for the sexual abuse of a schoolgirl, is a leading member of The Pride of the Village Band. Some of the abuse took place in an Orange Hall in the village. The 45-year-old was found guilty of molesting his 13-year-old victim and having pictures of her topless on his mobile phone. Since his release he has reinvolved himself with the band and has been seen putting union and UVF flags up on main routes leading into the mixed village on the outskirts of Lisburn. The band has applied to the Parades Commission to hold a march on Saturday June 29 through the Main Street of the village with an outward journey not ccompleted until 11pm at night.

Sinn Fein assembly member Mitchell McLaughlin met with the Parades Commission on Wednesday to express concerns about the march, saying the application is designed to “ratchet up community tensions”. Harbinson had previously been accused of waging a campaign of sectarian attacks against Catholics living in Stoneyford. Mr McLaughlin said the parade plans were “a gross act of sectarian intimidation against all the people of this village – Catholic, Protestant, unionist and nationalist”. “The Parades Commission must by their decision make it clear that it will not permit such an abuse of people’s human rights. “I suggested they permit the local band and a small number of supporters to parade. “I expressed my concerns to the commission about Harbinson’s presence and I have spoken to the police about this matter as well. “I will be meeting the police on Friday to hear how they intend handling the situation in Stoneyford”, he said.

With many thanks to : Allison Morris, Irish News.

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