Restrictions placed on feeder parade

Coleraine will host an Apprentice Boys' of Derry parade on Easter Monday. INCR
Coleraine will host an Apprentice Boys' of Derry parade on Easter Monday. INCR

A feeder parade for this Monday’s Apprentice Boys’ of Derry Parade in Coleraine has been re-routed by the Parades Commission.

The Mitchelburne Club Killowen Branch will not be permitted to march around the Heights area as a result of the Commission’s ruling.

Instead the Club, and their accompanying band, will parade directly from the Orange Hall along Killowen Street, with no left turn onto Pates Lane.

Last week PUP councillor Russell Watton appealed to the Parades Commission to permit the ‘one off’ parade, and added that if the erection of tricolour flags in the Pates Lane area was the deciding factor, then the Commission was setting a ‘dangerous precedent.’

In a statement to The Coleraine Times this week, a Parades Commission spokesperson said: “The Commission has a duty to consider notifications and if necessary make determinations. In reaching its decision, the Commission considered the implications of the parade taking place in a sensitive location through a residential area and the potential adverse impact on community.”

In the 12-page determination, the Commission raises issues regarding the ‘necessity’ of the parade in a residential area early in the morning.

The Commission concluded that the ‘potential for public disorder is high’, therefore they determined that restrictions were imposed on the parade.

This is only the second time that Coleraine has hosted an Apprentice Boys Easter Monday parade. The last took place in April 1976.

A spokesperson for the Killowen Branch told the Times that they were ‘disappointed’ with the decision.

“The Commission has made their ruling leaving us very little time to put a case together for an appeal.”

Commenting on the determination, the spokesperson pointed out that the Branch and their band parade earlier, in the same residential area on the morning of their main demonstration in August. Speaking about the presence of tricolour flags in the area: “It is our opinion that these flags went up to raise the anti.”