The band attended the parade and service arranged by the society who have been working endlessly in East Belfast and are a credit to the whole community.
This memorial parade is in memory to victims of an event that happened 36 years ago when the Provisional Irish Republican Army (PIRA) chose this weekend to unleash an attack on the Protestant community on the 27th June 1970 at the weekend of the Whiterock parade. This date was the first ever PIRA gun battle after they broke away from the mainstream IRA.
This bloody weekend both in East and West Belfast saw 6 people loose their life and that weekend will never be forgotten by many people, as this watershed date in the bloody history of the PIRA.
The Protestant people that weekend pain the price very dearly and still to this day we are forced with the media ignoring attacks on Protestants.
Two local East Belfast men Ginger Neill and Jimmy McCurrie were murdered by the PIRA and over sixty where wounded and hundreds of houses attacked after the Whiterock parade had finished and everyone was returning back to East Belfast celebrating a family day out seeing the bands.
The East Belfast Historical and Cultural Society have produced a booklet covering the events of that horrible weekend, the book titled ‘Murder in Ballymacarret’ can be purchased from the Union Jack Shop and it’s a very in-depth account of the days that shall never be forgotten in East Belfast and indeed our neighbours in West Belfast.
This parade is an invite only and the reasons for this are that the parade is not a contest or band parade but it’s a memorial parade to the memory of the men murdered that weekend and also in support of the many victims that where affected by the trauma of the carnage from the PIRA.
All local bands from East Belfast paraded or helped in the running of this special parade, bands included:
I was very pleased with the good turnout of people watching the parade.
To be honest there’s always a good turnout for this parade as this area is a close net group and many people can see remember the events very clearly to this day.
This memorial parade is held in the high esteem by my band and the once we had all paraded there was a short service attended by the families and many invited guests whom will never forget this bloody date in the history of East Belfast.
Rest in Peace.
East Belfast Protestant Boys Flute Band Chairman
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