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Allister Slams Vile Attack at Rasharkin

01 September 2011

TUV leader Jim Allister MLA has called on the PSNI and the Parades Commission to investigate an alleged act of intimidation by a member of the group protesting against the Ballymaconnelly Sons of Conquerors Flute Band parade held in Rasharkin earlier this month.

Commenting on the revelations Jim Allister stated:

“I have received a disturbing complaint regarding the protest held against the Ballymaconnelly band parade. I understand that the complaint has also been registered with the PSNI.

I understand that a protestor shouted abusive and sectarian comments at a band member relating to his father who was murdered by the IRA. The complainant was subjected to a sickening and vile attack relating to this murder and clearly, the one who undertook this abusive taunt was fully aware of its significance. Naturally, it has caused the young man, and his family, great distress.

I anticipate that by engaging in such threatening and abusive behaviour the culprit was in breach of the criminal law. I trust, therefore, that the matter will be investigated with vigour by the PSNI.

I have also called on the Parades Commissions to take action. In their determination they stipulated that;

“Behaviour should be respectful. There should be no excessively loud drumming. Participants should refrain from conduct, words, music or behaviour which could reasonably be perceived as intentionally sectarian, provocative, threatening, abusive, insulting or lewd.”

I have therefore asked the Parades Commission to explain if this stipulation was also relevant to the protestors and if and what subsequent action they intend to take.

Having attended the parade I am aware that the PSNI used surveillance equipment to record every band and to record band supporters. Therefore, I trust they obtained similar footage of protesters. I am further aware that the Commission monitor and record the parade and have therefore asked them to advise me if a monitor and camera was in place at the protest and if they recorded the described incident. 

I have further asked if the Commission will ensure that this complaint is included in their report on the band parade.

I await the response of both the PSNI and the Parades Commission in respect of this case.”

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NI politics