A BAND parade in Rasharkin was �subjected to a sustained torrent of verbal abuse� when it took place last year, according to a leaked PSNI report.

The annual band contest organised by the Ballymaconnelly Sons of Conquerors Flute Band was subject to a heavy security presence.

Last week the commission ruled that the parade can only walk up the Main Street this year and cannot return. But the number of protestors allowed to take part has been increased from 130 to 150 despite evidence in the PSNI report which was submitted to the commission that the protestors had abused the bands parading as well as substantially breaching the number permitted to take part.

The report estimated the number of protestors at around 300 more than twice as many as had been allowed by the commission.

The report noted: �Throughout the course of the parade the bands were subjected to a sustained torrent of verbal abuse from the protestors who constantly blew whistles and sounded air horns in a bid to drown out the music being played by the bands.

�Golf balls, cigarette lighters, bottles, stones and other missiles were thrown at the bands at times during the course of the parade from the area of the protest and an alley beside the Se Ogs public house.�

Comparatively there was just one report of a bandsman making a gesture towards the protestors but Ballymaconnelly band were praised for their efforts to keep the peace.

The report also praised the work of the bands marshals on duty at the parade

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

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