Clyde Valley Flute Band ‘will not attend’ 

Talks between Bloody Sunday families and the Apprentice Boys remain ongoing following a decision by a flute band not to attend next month’s Shutting of the Gates parade.

Larne based Clyde Valley Flute Band were at the centre of controversy after members wore uniforms bearing a Parachute Regiment insignia and a ‘Soldier F’ symbol at the annual Relief of Derry celebrations in August.

The Parachute Regiment soldier, identified only as ‘F’, is charged with murder over the events of Bloody Sunday.

Relatives of Bloody Sunday victims expressed outrage following the display and have said the band should not return to the city for the Shutting of the Gates parade on December 7.

The band has now notified the Parades Commission that it will take part in a procession in Rathcoole on December 7 and “will not be travelling to another town or place”.

Clyde Valley Volunteers Flute Band are the only band due to take part in the procession in Rathcoole, according to a listing on the Parades Commission website.

In August, several loyalist bands had threatened to cut ties with the Apprentice Boys in a show of solidarity with Clyde Valley. This followed comments from the ABOD governor Graeme Stenhouse, who said his organisation recognised the potential upset caused to nationalists by the emblem worn by the band.

On Wednesday Mr Stenhouse confirmed to the News Letter that talks remain “ongoing” with the Bloody Sunday Trust following a meeting on Tuesday night.

Mr Stenhouse also said he has been working to “defuse” the situation.

“We’re trying to defuse things, calm everything down and remind our members of the standards that are expected when they come to the Maiden City and more importantly, remind them why they are in the Maiden City and what they are commemorating,” he said.

“We need to remember why we are in Londonderry in December and in August.”

Published on the 13th of November 2019
Article taken from the News Letter

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