Northern Ireland

Belfast City Council bans Orange lodge and loyalist band

Belfast City Hall
Image caption The incident happened at Belfast City Hall in October

An Orange lodge and loyalist band have been banned from booking Belfast City Hall over an incident last year.

In October, social media videos showed uniformed members of a Glasgow-based band, the Govan Protestant Boys, parading in the building.

The band was accused of playing some sectarian tunes and breaking rules by marching in corridors and the reception.

It happened during a dinner hosted by George Telford Memorial Grand Lodge.

The north Belfast-based lodge later apologised.

It said the decision to allow the band to play outside of the function room used for the centenary dinner "was made without the approval or prior knowledge of any lodge officer, County Grand Lodge officer or elected representative present at the function".

In a statement on Friday, Belfast City Council said it "regrets that this incident occurred and has reaffirmed its commitment to promoting equality and good relations, and ensuring council facilities are welcome and open to all.

"As a result of the investigation into breaches of city hall's terms and conditions of use,

"Members have agreed to the recommendation to review the existing terms of conditions to ensure they are in line with council's equality obligations.

"Members have also agreed to consider sanctions against groups who fail to comply with the terms of use of council facilities and banned George Telford Memorial Grand Lodge and Govan Protestant Boys from booking city hall in the future."

It said the decision is to be ratified at a full council meeting on 2 March.

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