SECTARIANISM: Loyalist march re-routed away from Catholic churches

Apprentice Boys of Derry are set to march on Sunday, November 14

A march due to be held on Sunday has been re-routed away from two Catholic churches.
Pictures by Bill Heaney

By Lucy Ashton

An Orange Walk march planned for this Sunday has been “voluntarily” re-routed away from two Catholic churches by the organiser.

Loyalist aligned Apprentice Boys of Derry are set to march in Glasgow on November 14, and, under the original route, would have passed by St Mary’s and St Alphonsus’ in the Calton area, near the Barras.

Glasgow City Council’s website shows amendments to the route were agreed on November 4, and a spokesman said the organiser “amended their route voluntarily” following talks with the local authority and Police Scotland.

Parades were previously re-routed in 2019 to avoid passing St Alphonsus’ following an incident in July 2018, where Canon Tom White was spat upon outside the church and a man was later jailed for the assault.

Call It Out, an organisation which campaigns against anti-Catholic bigotry, said on social media that the decision to re-route was “very good news for the parish and the wider Catholic community”.

However, the group said it objects to another march, on Saturday, November 13, which will pass Blessed John Duns Scotus on Ballater Street in the Gorbals.

It said if that march goes ahead then they will arrange “appropriate action”.

The group has previously held vigils outside Catholic churches while marches have passed by.

Saturday’s march has been organised by Hutchesontown True Blues LOL 69 and begins at 9.30am.

A statement from the Grand Orange Lodge of Scotland said the annual Armistice parade has “taken place for more than 20 years without incident”.

It added the “usual suspects” are “attempting to manufacture division where there is none”.

“Dialogue has taken place to inform places of worship on the route that the parade will be passing in a quiet, peaceful and dignified manner.

“Armistice parades are in honour of the war dead. Religion, race and nationality do not matter.”

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