Glasgow & West Scotland

Police re-route Loyalist marches in Glasgow

St Alphonsus Church
Image caption St Alphonsus Church is close to the Barras market in the east end of Glasgow

The routes of four Loyalist parades through Glasgow have been changed after police raised "significant" concerns.

They were due to pass a church where a Catholic priest was assaulted last year on 1 and 2 June.

Glasgow City Council said the route had been changed after Police Scotland raised concerns about the "marches and counter protests".

But the Grand Orange Lodge of Scotland has warned the move risks creating "no-go zones" for Protestants.

The parades were due to pass St Alphonsus Church on London Road, where Canon Tom White was spat on during the Orange Order Boyne march last July.

Police Scotland told the council that, without changing the route away from that stretch of London Road, the force would need to call in officers from across the country in order to safely manage the marches.

The changes have been made using the delegated powers of council officers instead of the usual route of through the local authority's public processions committee.

Glasgow City Council said this was due to the short notice and "the high risk of disruption to the life of the community and the excessive burden likely to be placed on Police Scotland".

Image copyright Archdiocese of Glasgow
Image caption Canon Tom White was spat on outside the church in London Road during the annual Orange Order Boyne march last July

Orange marchers were forced to re-route last year's Remembrance Day parade away from a church in Glasgow's east end amid fears of violent clashes.

A spokesman for Glasgow City Council said: "Police have raised significant concern about the impact of these marches and counter protests - both on the local community and their own resources.

"The council's decision to re-route the processions is proportionate and maintains the participants' right to assembly while addressing those concerns."

The processions affected involve the Apprentice Boys of Derry (Bridgeton), Dalmarnock No Surrender Branch Club, Dalmarnock Orange and Purple District 50, and the Orange and Purple District 37.

The man who spat on Canon Tom White, Bradley Wallace, 24, from Uddingston, was jailed for 10 months after admitting the assault earlier this year.

'No-go zones'

A spokesman for the Grand Orange Lodge of Scotland said: "Police Scotland claim that they can't resource the parade and protests but they manage to police pro-independence parades when there is a unionist protest.

"They manage to police political campaigning when there are angry counter-protests.

"They managed to police a recent republican event with terrorist banners on show but they have stepped in to say that they cannot manage to police Protestant parades, unless we agree to abide by rules of religious segregation, unless we agree to imposed religious divisions where certain streets are no-go zones to Protestants?

"The Orange Order has made its position quite clear, we are an organisation that proudly supports and promotes our own heritage, religion and culture. Being pro-Protestant does not make us anti-Catholic."

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