Investigation under way into loyalist band parade in Belfast City Hall

Actions of Glasgow-based group sent out ‘wrong message’ – Sinn Féin councillor

Video footage emerged on social media of the flute band parading in Belfast City Hall

Video footage emerged on social media of the flute band parading in Belfast City Hall

 

A council investigation is under way after a loyalist flute band was filmed parading inside Belfast City Hall.

Footage emerged on social media at the weekend showing uniformed members of Govan Protestant Boys parading and playing The Sash and other music in the main foyer and corridors of the civic building.

The Glasgow-based band was attending a centenary dinner in City Hall for the George Telford Memorial Orange Lodge.

A statement issued by the Grand Orange Lodge of Ireland on behalf of the lodge said: “We are aware of videos circulating on social media of Govan Protestant Boys playing within the public area of City Hall.

“As a lodge, we will fully co-operate with the investigation of Belfast City Council. We will make no further public comment at this stage.”

Sinn Féin councillor Ciarán Beattie branded the actions of the band as “disgraceful”.

Cllr Beattie said it “sends out the wrong message of the changing Belfast and City Hall which is supposed to be a shared space and open to all”. He said the council was now investigating if there had been a “breach of protocol”.

SDLP councillor Carl Whyte said Belfast’s civic spaces “must be open and welcoming to everyone but that they must be respected by all users”.

Alliance councillor Nuala McAllister said parties had been working hard to make city hall “a welcoming space for all” which had to be treated with respect.

She described the incident as “stupid and senseless stuff”.