Did the Parades Commission capitulate to three nights of thuggery, rioting and sectarianism from the UVF instead of facing it down? Of course they did. How commemorating an influential Irish Patriot like Henry-Joy is treated as a threat to anyone is beyond my thinking. Other important questions that also need answering are, who spoke to the PC on behalf of S/F and did they object to the march or not?
|Henry-Joy Republican Flute Band Colour-Party Proudly Marching|
|Henry-Joy Band Marching down the New Lodge Road|
When the parade reached the junction of the New Lodge Road and North Queen Street, as the RUC/PSNI blocked the road with Land-Rovers beyond Victoria Parade. The organisers stopped for a short time before marching the short distance to the end of Victoria Pde. Where RNU Activists made a line across the road, the Henry-Joy Republican Flute Band played it's last tune before inviting the Oglach John Brady Memorial Band to finish. Both bands received thunderous applause from those who marched the route.
What was not surprising about this year's parade, was the intolerance of those who actively opposed the commemoration for Henry-Joy McCracken. The fear of genuine Irish Republicanism as expressed with discipline during the recent Anti-Internment March and such dignity again demonstrated on Sunday. Republicanism is again on the march in Belfast and it can only go forward, as the United Irishmen desired in the 1790's. No matter what principles self-serving Politicians ditch, the Struggle for Territorial, Political, Social and Economic freedom in Ireland will persevere.