Ulster Unionists welcome dignified and respectful Somme Parade

Coleraine Ulster Unionist councillor William McCandless has praised participants in Wednesday night’s parade to commemorate the Battle of the Somme, for their actions in ensuring a dignified and respectful parade took place. 

Councillor McCandless said;

“I attended last night’s parade in the Heights area and saw for myself the dignified and respectful parade which took place to commemorate those who fell at the Battle of the Somme 99 years ago.

“Last week the Parades Commission made a flawed decision to restrict the annual Battle of the Somme commemoration parade in Coleraine on the 1st July, which I said at the time set a dangerous precedent in that it rewarded those who practise or threaten violence. 

“This parade remembers the sacrifice of the tens of thousands of Ulstermen and Irishmen of both the unionist and nationalist traditions who fought at the Somme on the 1st July 1916.

“The Killowen LOL 930 Orange lodge are to be commended for the restraint and cool heads they have shown throughout, and as a result they were given permission to follow their traditional route through the Heights area.

“This was the very least which the Parades Commission could do, given the foolish original determination which they made. It is perfectly clear that the provocation and threat of violence in relation to this event does not lie with Killowen LOL 930 but with an element of trouble-makers, many from outside the area, whose sole intention is to be offended and prevent the parade taking place. It may well be that if they were to examine their own family trees, they might find that they too had ancestors who fought at the Somme, but I fear that such appreciation of history and tolerance for others, may sadly be beyond their capacity.

“I trust that the Parades Commission will in future take much greater care to establish the full facts in relation to parades in the Heights area and ensure that common sense is applied. It is essential that they reward those who obey the law, not those who threaten and practise violence.”

News Archives