Northern Ireland

Loyalist band stopped from passing St Patrick's Church

The band played outside St Patrick's Church in north Belfast
Image caption The band has been prohibited from parading past St Patrick's Church in north Belfast

A loyalist band filmed playing tunes outside a Catholic Church on the Twelfth of July has been prohibited from marching past the same church.

The Parades Commission have banned the Young Conway Volunteers band from marching past St Patrick's Church on Donegall Street in Belfast next Saturday.

The 32 other bands taking part in the City of Belfast Grand Black Chapter march are restricted to playing a single drum beat while passing the church.

In its determination, the Parades Commission said the Young Conway Volunteers band had been "the subject of recent speculation concerning behaviour".

It said it was "aware of the particularly difficult and sensitive issues surrounding the incident... and of the negative impact this has had on community relations in the area".

The Shankill Road-based band was filmed walking around in circles outside the church on 12 July and said it was "pure chance" that they had come to a halt there.

The band also said they were not playing the Famine Song, an anti-Irish song that originated in Glasgow.

The Famine Song is sung to the music of the Beach Boys' Sloop John B, but replaces the chorus "I feel so broke up, I wanna go home" with "The famine is over, why don't you go home?".

The Justiciary Appeal Court in Scotland has ruled that the song is racist.

"The tune we were playing is actually a Beach Boy song titled Sloop John B," the band's statement said.

"The singing of words that some supporters associated with the tune the band was playing at the time was perhaps unfortunate and may have just been a by-product of the exuberance of the day of celebration of our culture and history."

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