McKay comments following meeting with PSNI on Rasharkin Parade
Sinn Féin MLA for north Antrim Daithí McKay, following a meeting with senior PSNI personnel regarding their operation in Rasharkin last week said;
“We raised a number of very serious concerns with the PSNI regarding their policing operation in the village during last weeks Loyalist Band Parade during our meeting this afternoon.
Amongst the issues raised was the fact that the PSNI should not be determining parade routes; this was compounded by the fact that the parade itself took place after midnight and therefore on a new date without any determination. This is particularly significant given the fact that this is the most contentious band parade in the north.
In their press release the PSNI made reference to residents and protesters yet none to the thousands of Loyalist supporters who threatened public disorder in the village. The PSNI today acknowledged the fact that they had received numerous phone calls from residents in Rasharkin regarding the intimidation which took place in the south of the village and that there was a possibility of a significant breach of the peace.
The policing operation also saw a number of young nationalists pushed back unnecessarily after the parade had passed yet no such action was taken against the loyalists who were allowed to gather at the bottom of the village.
Today’s meeting was useful and gave us the opportunity to directly put our concerns to senior PSNI officers; we view this as the beginning in a series of meetings in order to ensure that there is no repeat of this kind of episode in the future.” CRÍOCH