A parade which passed St Patrick’s Catholic church on Belfast’s Donegall Street last weekend “flouted every legal restriction placed on it,” according to Sinn Fein.
The parade was one of many which took place to mark the ‘Last Saturday’ of the sectarian marching season.
Sinn Fein representative for the area Caral Ni Chuilin said the Royal Black Preceptory, the organisation behind the parade, had shown “total disrespect” to the nationalist community living in the area.
The Parades Commission had determined that only a single drum beat be played as bands passed Carrick Hill, while the return leg was supposed to be finished ahead of church services.
However, the parade was delayed so that it coincided with Saturday evening’s Mass, and music was played passing the church. Among the tunes played by bands passing St Patrick’s were provocative sectarian tunes such as ‘The Sash’.
SDLP assembly member Alban Maginness said he believed marchers had acted “quite deliberately” to delay the parade to coincide with Mass and described the behaviour of marchers as “aggressive and provocative”.
The RBP, also known as “the Imperial Grand Black Chapter Of The British Commonwealth”, is considered the most senior of the Protestant marching orders - but one member spat on a protester as he marched past.
Ms Ni Chuilin said she believed that there had been a deliberate effort to goad nationalist residents into some type of retaliatory action.
“Every aspect of the determination in relation to the parade was broken today,” she said.
“I am fed up hearing about loyal orders being religious organisations celebrating culture when in reality what was on show today was an exercise in sectarian coat trailing through a nationalist area,” she said.