Irish Republican News · April 16, 2016
[Irish Republican News]

[Irish Republican News]
Loyalists to protest on Rising centenary day


A parade through Belfast city centre to mark the calendar anniversary of the Easter Rising next weekend will face two separate loyalist protests.

The parade has been organised by the North Belfast 1916 Easter Rising Centenary Committee and will take place on the exact centenary of the 1916 rising, on Sunday, April 24.

One band and up to 2,000 people are expected to take part in the march, which will start at Hallidays Road in north Belfast before making its way down Royal Avenue in the city centre and on to Divis Street in west Belfast.

Participants will then join the main ‘People’s Parade’ which will travel through west Belfast to Milltown Cemetery.

Two loyalists group have been given permission to hold separate protests involving 300 people along the route.

The Loyal Peoples’ Protest had wanted to bring 500 people onto the streets. However, it has been told up to 150 people can gather close to the junction of Royal Avenue and Lower Garfield Street.

The Protestant Coalition led by Willie Frazer has also been told it can stage a protest involving 150 people, again close to the junction of Royal Avenue and Lower Garfield Street.


In a separate development, organisers of the parade have said they placed a poster over the face of Edward Carson on a west Belfast mural saying the image was a “waste of paint”.

Sean Cahill of the People’s Parade, said that the mural, which is designed to cover the entire International Wall and tell the Belfast story of the 1916 Uprising, was done “without community consultation, is out of context and insensitive”.

“No one owns all of that wall, other groups have murals on the wall and never at any stage agreed for them to painted over.

“Saying you can’t tell the story of the Rising, without painting Carson, is like saying you can’t commemorate the hunger strikers without painting a mural of Thatcher.

“We did place the poster over Carson’s head. To be honest work appeared to have stopped and we just took the opportunity to advertise the parade. It was done a bit tongue in cheek.

“But my personal opinion is that it shouldn’t be there in the first place”, Mr Cahill added.

Threats are reported to have been made against artists working to ‘update’ the wall, one of Belfast’s best known tourist attractions, after famous murals of republican history were dismantled in the process.

The council-funded project appears to be an attempt to extend a Tory policy of ‘normalising Northern Ireland’ into the heart of west Belfast. However, mural artist Danny Devenny continues to argue that the mural is ‘historical story telling’.

“Trying to tell the Belfast story of that time without including Carson is like trying to tell the story of WW2 without mentioning Hitler,” he said.

* Other events taking place next weekend include a parade in Dublin on Saturday by Republican Sinn Fein’s 1916 National Centenary Committee. Those attending are requested to assemble at the Garden of Remembrance in Parnell Square, from where a parade will leave at 1.45pm for the GPO in O’Connell Street.

* On Sunday, Sinn Fein is organising a celebratory event entitled ‘Reclaim the Vision of 1916’ involving music, poetry and dancing, also on O’Connell Street in Dublin.

* Also on Sunday, the National Graves Association is holdings its main 1916 centenary event. The non-political ‘Citizens Commemoration’ will include the unveiling of a new monument at St. Paul's Cemetery, Glasnevin which marks the graves of a number of Irish Volunteers and Irish Citizen Army killed during the Rising. Assemble at the GPO at 12.30pm, march to Glasnevin Cemetery.

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© 2016 Irish Republican News