Northern Ireland

Judge upholds commission ruling on Rasharkin parade

A high court judge has rejected a bid by bandsmen to overturn the Parades Comission's ruling on a parade in a County Antrim village.

The commission ruled that 25 bands could parade in Rasharkin on Friday night.

In previous years, up to 60 bands took part in the parade through the predominantly nationalist village.

The Ballymaconnelly Sons of Conquerors flute band had argued that the decision was unreasonable.

The bandsmen also said it was punishing them unfairly over the issue of dialogue and said they did not accept that they had not engaged in dialogue.

Mr Justice Weatherup said that the commission had legitimate grounds for imposing conditions.

The Parades Commission issued a statement welcoming the judgement.

"We hope that those participating and attending the event will abide by the determination and will reflect upon the need for a sustainable solution achieved through meaningful dialogue," it said.

North Antrim DUP MP Ian Paisley Jnr said he was disappointed with the judge's decision as he believed the bandsmen had a strong case.

"We believe they should consider, and have the right to consider, an appeal," he said.

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