Loyalist march re-routed away from Catholic churches ‘voluntarily’

Apprentice Boys of Derry are set to march in Glasgow on November 14.

Loyalist march re-routed away from Catholic churches ‘voluntarily’ iStock

A Loyalist march planned for this Sunday has been “voluntarily” re-routed away from two Catholic churches by the organiser.

Apprentice Boys of Derry are set to march in Glasgow on November 14, and, under the original route, would have passed by St Mary’s and St Alphonsus’ in the Calton area.

Glasgow City Council’s website shows amendments to the route were agreed on November 4, and a spokesman said the organiser “amended their route voluntarily” following talks with the local authority and Police Scotland.

Parades were previously re-routed in 2019 to avoid passing St Alphonsus’ following an incident in July 2018, where Canon Tom White was spat on outside the church and a man was later jailed for the assault. 

At the time, police said there had been a “troubling change” in rhetoric around marches passing the churches.

Call It Out, an organisation which campaigns against anti-Catholic bigotry, said on social media that the decision to re-route was “very good news for the parish and the wider Catholic community”.

However, the group said it objects to another march, on Saturday, November 13, which will pass Blessed John Duns Scotus on Ballater Street.

It said if that march goes ahead then they will arrange “appropriate action”.

The group has previously held vigils outside Catholic churches while marches have passed by.

Saturday’s march has been organised by Hutchesontown True Blues LOL 69 and begins at 9.30am.

A statement from the Grand Orange Lodge of Scotland said the annual Armistice parade has “taken place for more than 20 years without incident”.

It added the “usual suspects” are “attempting to manufacture division where there is none”.

“Dialogue has taken place to inform places of worship on the route that the parade will be passing in a quiet, peaceful and dignified manner.

“Armistice parades are in honour of the war dead. Religion, race and nationality do not matter.”

By local democracy reporter Drew Sandelands