The band travelled on a Monday night to the host bands annual parade, this is a strange night to have a parade on but we where still happy enough to support the Red Hand Defenders.
For years now this parade has been stopped from going anywhere near the Downpatrick town centre and the usual suspects where at the blockade to watch over all the bands.
Representatives from SF/IRA, Parades Commission and Police Service of Northern Ireland all out with their camcorders and digital cameras taking photographs off all the bands and supporters of the parade. I wonder if the host band can get all the footage from them?
The parade route is very short and this has been mainly due the Parades Commission bowing down to the SF/IRA movement in this area however this doesn’t stop over 40 bands attending and supporting the Red Hand Defenders, band from all corners of the country attended and making this a very successful parade.
Good crowds watched the parade and as usual a large crowd gathered at the barrier part of the parade, as all the bands played that bit louder at the PSNI lines, good to see bands like Castlederg, Cloughmills, Pride of the Maine, South Belfast Young Conquers, Pride of the Hill, Kilcluney Volunteers, Mourne Young Defenders and Ballynahinch all in attendance of the 40 odds bands.
This parade has non sop blows out on the entire route, and this is very strange to see but its all part of the game but it really did feel strange but the only reason for the band coming to the parade was to support Stanley and the Red Hand Defenders band.
Below are a selection of photographs of the band in action.
Hopefully in years to come Protestant civil rights must be returned in this area, Protestants are treated like second class citizens; this is a disgrace and the Parade Commission and the PSNI are totally to blame for this current situation.
I really do think its time that the Parades Commission should disband as they only serve the Nationalist community to stop our culture from being displayed on the Queens highways of Northern Ireland.
To help out any good support from all the bands and this call always helps as the bands do come out in force when needed and tonight only shows this is true; turning up in large numbers be it in an competition or just an annual parade really does help and give great support to the host band in times of need.
Well done to Stanley and the Red Hand Defenders and I hope soon that we shall be proving a report from Downpatrick’s town centre on this website.
East Belfast Protestant Boys Flute Band Chairman
If you would like to give your own opinions on the above parade please register and use the EBPB Online Forum, your contribution to the Forum is always welcome.