Irish Republican News · August 23, 2010
[Irish Republican News]

[Irish Republican News]
PSNI reroute illegal midnight parade through village

The PSNI are facing court action alongside organisers of a sectarian band parade in Rasharkin after the parade was illegally directed along a different route last Friday.

The loyalist parade through the overwhelmingly nationalist village of Rasharkin did not end until after midnight, having being delayed for more than two hours by a bomb alert.

The PSNI blamed the alert for its decision to give permission to the loyalists to reroute Friday’s march. Local PSNI Ryan Henderson said the sudden rerouting was a “practical solution” to the problem.

Sinn Fein assembly member Daithi McKay said senior PSNI men had simply caved into pressure from thousands of loyalists.

He pointed out the alternative route was illegal because it was not cleared by the Parades Commission.

“It was nonsensical for any parade to be taking place after that time,” Mr McKay said .

“The question which needs to be asked of them [the PSNI] is why did they do that and under whose direction?

“The parade didn’t end until alter midnight in a small sleepy village so they have broken the law on several counts and this situation will now be going to the courts.”

The march did not get under way until after 1O.30pm with the last band going through the village after 12.30am.

The were some angry scenes between nationalist protesters and PSNI but there was no violence.

The Rasharkin Residents Association said there was “lot of anger amongst local residents here in the wake of the parade”.

“The police essentially made the decision to facilitate this loyalist parade in Rasharkin, not the Parades Commission, who were not consulted in respect of the time delay which resulted in the parade occurring after midnight and via an unapproved route,” the association said in a statement.

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