Meanwhile, a loyalist band founded by convicted peadophile Mark Harbinson is seeking permission to hold a late-night parade with 20 bands and more than 1,000 supporters through the mixed Co Antrimvillage of Stoneyford.
Harbinson, who was freed from jail last month having served a three-and-a-half-year sentence for the sexual abuse of a schoolgirl, is a leading member of The Pride of the Village Band. Some of the abuse took place in an Orange Hall in the village. The 45-year-old was found guilty of molesting his 13-year-old victim and having pictures of her topless on his mobile phone. Since his release he has reinvolved himself with the band and has been seen putting union and UVF flags up on main routes leading into the mixed village on the outskirts of Lisburn. The band has applied to the Parades Commission to hold a march on Saturday June 29 through the Main Street of the village with an outward journey not ccompleted until 11pm at night.
Sinn Fein assembly member Mitchell McLaughlin met with the Parades Commission on Wednesday to express concerns about the march, saying the application is designed to “ratchet up community tensions”. Harbinson had previously been accused of waging a campaign of sectarian attacks against Catholics living in Stoneyford. Mr McLaughlin said the parade plans were “a gross act of sectarian intimidation against all the people of this village – Catholic, Protestant, unionist and nationalist”. “The Parades Commission must by their decision make it clear that it will not permit such an abuse of people’s human rights. “I suggested they permit the local band and a small number of supporters to parade. “I expressed my concerns to the commission about Harbinson’s presence and I have spoken to the police about this matter as well. “I will be meeting the police on Friday to hear how they intend handling the situation in Stoneyford”, he said.
THE ORANGE Order has been urged to hold talks ahead of a controversial Twelfth of July parade through a mainly nationalist village in Co An trim. Hundreds of bandsmen and supporters will descend on the seaside village of Carnlough this summer for a major Twelfth of July demonstration.
Earlier this year Sinn Fein assembly member Oliver McMullan warned that the parade had the potential to cause “community tensions” in the run up to July. The East Belfast MLA last night said that the Orange Order had to date refused to speak to him or community groups in the area. “They have told police they are not talking to the Parades Commission or Sinn Fein,” he said.”This does not go well for a shared future the first minister and deputy first minister spoke about. “Here we have the Orange Order refusing to buy it. “This nonsence has gone on long enough, it’s time to grow up and sit down and talk.”
Mr McMullan spoke of his concern that the Antrim Coast Road would be closed to visitors at the height of the tourist season. Up to 400 members representing 11 lodges are expected to take part in the controversial march, which is traditionally held in Carnlough once every six years with the last in the village in 2007. A spokesman for the Orange Order said : “The Twelfth parade in Carnlough will act as a clear indicator as to whether republicans pay more than lip service to the idea of a shared future, and the cultural expression of the minority Protestant population in the village.” The latest row comes after residents in Rasharkin, Co Antrim, claimed they have reached a deal with the Orange Order to relocate their main Twelfth demonstration away from the centre of the nationalist village. The Orange Order has denied however that talks took place. Marne Area Commander, PSNI Chief Inspector John Magill said he “would encourage communities to put in place local sustainable arrangements around parading issues”.
Two brothers appeared in court yesterday accused of hijacking after a police officer wad squashed and injured by a stolen car. Joseph and Michael McManus, aged 27 and 19, whose brother was murdered for anti-social behaviour last saturday were arrested following attempts to stop a Renault Megane in West Belfast one week to the day after their brother was murdered by the CIRA early on Saturday morning.
A PSNI/RUC officer suffered chest injuries when squashed between his police car and the stolen car during the incident outside the Suffolk Inn on the Suffolk Road in West Belfast. The brothers, both of Orchard Hill, Crumlin, Co Antrim, are each charged with aggravated vehicle taking and assault on police. Joseph McManus is also accused of driving while unfit through drink or drugs, causing grievous bodily injury by dangerous driving, and failing to stop for police.
A detective told Belfast Magistrates Court she could connect both suspects to the alleged offences. Joseph McManus made no application for bail and he was remanded in custody to appear again by video link later this month. His brother had appeared in court on police bail following the weekend incident. Michael McManus was released to return again in eight weeks ‘ time. District Judge Fiona Bag all ordered him to have no contact with any prosecution witnesses. He was subjected to s curfew, electronic tagging and banned from being in a motor vehicle unless accompanied by a parent or solicitor.
Could as many people please share these details, thank you. Public Meeting Update re the ongoing incarceration and torture of Marian Price This event will now take place in The Conway Education Centre, Conway Mill 5/7 Conway Street Falls Road Belfsat BT13 2DE.
Belfast GAA club backtrack on agreement to host Justice for Marian campiagn meeting. The meeting scheduled to be held in St Pauls GAC Shaws Road Belfast to highlight the ongoing incarceration and torture of Marian Price will now take place in the Conway Mill. The change of venue is due to St Paul‘s GAC refusing to up…hold an agreement that was made weeks ago that they would host the meeting. As a result of this agreement thousands of leaflets and hundreds of posters advertising the event were printed and distributed . I received an email on Monday 27th Feb stating the booking was cancelled as a result of an internal failure to follow procedure. When this was queried I was then told that the Committee would review their decision. I explained the urgency of Marian Price’s situation and that a mass of advertising had already taken place but to be blunt my words had little meaning. I called to the club in person with family members of Marian Price urging the committee to make the right decision, we were told we would have a decision after the meeting. I received a negative response the following morning and at this stage was given two new excuses as to why the meeting should not take place. I was told the club had taken advice from the County Antrim Board and were advised they would be in breach of GAA rule 5.1 and that they also would not be covered by their public liability insurance. After the meeting I checked with a professional independent loss adjuster and he stated that considering the facility has a bar and hosts discos etc. it would be incredulous that their public liability insurance would not cover this meeting. When I sought clarification of rule 5.1 I was told it stated that the club could only be used for GAA purposes. To satisfy my own curiosity I decided to check rule 5.1 of the GAA Rules & Regulations document. It states ‘All property including grounds, Club Houses, Halls, Dressing Rooms and Handball Alleys owned or controlled by units of the Association shall be used only for the purpose of or in connection with the playing of the Games controlled by the Association, and for such other purposes not in conflict with the Aims and Objects of the Association.’ Now the question has to be asked is that if St Paul’s are content to cite section 5.1 of the 2011 GAA rules and regulations, then the GAA as an organisation must be in breach of their own rules as GAA facilities such as Croke park hosts rock concerts and other events that having no connection to the GAA. Whilst sifting through the rule book the it would seem that St Paul’s committee or County Antrim board overlooked rule 1.4. Rule 1.4 states ‘It shall foster an awareness and love of the national ideals in the people of Ireland, and assist in promoting a community spirit through its clubs.’ Yet here we have a club who have failed to honour an agreement to allow a meeting hosted by human rights activists to highlight the internment and torture of one of their community members. I have no doubt the founder members of the GAA were turning in their graves, over the years many GAA activists have been subjected to internment without trial themselves. The GAA has welcomed the British Monarch to Croke Park, has abolished rule 21 and despite rule 5.1 has allowed ‘foreign’ sports to be played in GAA facilities but when it comes to assisting the community will pull the rule book out and use it to assist what many suspect is a political decision. It can not be stated enough that these are not baseless accusations and the correspondence between the organisers of this meeting and St Paul’s Board can be made available for scrutiny. We would call on GAA activists who support human rights and are opposed to the internment without trial of any Irish Citizen to raise this issue as a matter of urgency with anyone with influence within the Gaelic Athletic Association.