The parades commission has rejected an alternative route proposed by a Rasharkin band after a decision was taken by the body last week to restrict its original application.

Ballymaconnelly Sons of Conquerors Flute Band submitted an alternative route to the parades commission yesterday after a decision was taken last week by the body to restrict its original application.

The DUP warned that the ruling issued last week by the parades commission could spark �serious disorder� as it will leave around 40 bands unable to return to their coaches.

However, Sinn Fein North Antrim MLA Daithi McKay accused the DUP of �talking the situation up�.

Yesterday Ballymaconnelly band, the DUP and Sinn Fein each met with the parades commission to discuss the situation in Rasharkin.

DUP MLA Mervyn Storey said: �We met with the parades commission to explain the serious risk to the situation in Rasharkin that we feel its decision has brought,� he said. �The decision is unworkable and illogical, the band worked extremely hard over the weekend, we now have an alternative route. We will await the decision of the commission.�

DUP enterprise minister Arlene Foster said she had attended the meeting �as a measure of how seriously we are taking this situation as a party�.

TUV leader Jim Allister said the refusal of the parades commission to revise its decision places parade participants in danger by �leaving them stranded at the most republican end of the village�.

Meanwhile, Mr McKay, who met the parades commission separately, said he does not expect trouble at Rasharkin on Friday as things stand.

He said both he and the residents were happy with the decision of the commission.

�The DUP is talking this situation up for their own political reasons,� he said, adding that he expected a �peaceful, dignified� protest. He urged those from outside the area to stay away.

Published date on the 18th of August 2010
Article taken from the News Letter