BY Daniel Harkins | March 8 | comments icon 0 COMMENTS     print icon print


Council review as figures show 189 orange marches in 2018

There were 189 Orange marches in Glasgow in 2018, the local council announced as it pledged to set-up a working group to review its policy on parades.

More than 60 per cent of all marches in Glasgow each year for the last four years have been by the Orange Order or similar groups the Apprentice Boys of Derry and the Black Institute—three marches for every week in the year.

There were 313 marches in total in 2018 in Glasgow including 16 republican marches and six by trade unions.

The local authority is now set to establish a working group to review parades and marches, which it says will include ‘faith group representatives’ as well as representatives from Police Scotland, representative procession organisers, retail and/or business representatives and community council representatives.’


Council response

Last July, Canon Tom White was attacked outside of his parish of St Alphonsus’ in the East End of the city as an Orange walk went past his church. Glasgow City Council leader Susan Aitken subsequently called for more powers from parliament to deal with Orange walks.

“Parliamentarians… might want to ask themselves whether they are satisfied the laws they put in place are fit for purpose. I have urged them to do just that,” she said.

Announcing the review in a report to councillors, Carole Forrest, the solicitor to the council, said: “While the vast majority of processions pass without difficulty and in compliance with the requirements set out in the Code of Conduct, it is acknowledged that in a small number of cases there have been complaints and concerns regarding the conduct of participants or followers.”

The report recommended that ‘an officer led short-life working group is established in order to carry out a review of the current Policy and Code of Conduct and to make any recommendations for change,’ and that it ‘consider whether the current requirements of the Code of Conduct properly balance the rights to peaceful assembly and freedom of expression with the legitimate rights of local residents and businesses to go about their daily lives who may suffer from disruption directly or indirectly caused by a procession.’

It adds: “The outcomes and recommendations from the review of the Policy and Code of Conduct will be reported back to this Committee for consideration by the end of 2019.”

A spokesman for Glasgow City Council said: “The aim is that our policy and code of conduct should help balance the rights of those who wish to take part in processions with those of the wider community; within the scope of national and European legislation.

“Reviewing it allows us to consider any areas where they could be updated or improved, in consultation with communities.”

Glasgow Archdiocese was approached for comment.


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