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Fears Of Violence


20/07/16


Fears have been raised that a controversial Irish republican march could lead to violence on the streets of Rutherglen.

A group calling themselves the Independent Republican Bands Scotland (IRBS) have lodged a notice of intention with South Lanarkshire Council to parade through the town on Saturday, August 6.

It is the third time the organisation have looked to march on the streets of the Burgh.


Two years ago, a march from Castlemilk heading to Rutherglen had to be scrapped when trouble flared on the streets. Two men involved in a protest were later convicted of breach of the peace with racial aggravation.

A notice of intent to march was also lodged last year but the march never went ahead.

The latest bid involves a route starting at Spittal Road and going along Mill Street, Main Street, Queen Street and Potters Way.


The Regimental Blues, who describe themselves as “a pressure group campaigning for the Loyalist Community in Scotland”. They had previously been involved in a campaign to stop a Charlie and the Bhoys gig at Cambuslang Institute and have vowed to “do whatever it takes” to prevent the march.

In a statement, they said: “We have been contacted over the last 24 hours by many individuals wishing for Regimental Blues to look at possible action towards a Republican parade planned for the Royal Burgh of Rutherglen on August 6.

“We understand this is on the same day as the Glasgow 36th Ulster Memorial Parade.

“Our chairman, Kris McGurk, has today made contact with South Lanarkshire Council and Police Scotland confirming that Regimental Blues will do whatever it takes to ensure the peace of the PUL Community in Rutherglen is not broken.”

Referring to the family of Scottish soldier Dougald McGaughey, who was murdered by the IRA in 1971, the statement continued: “Kris McGurk has also highlighted that within Rutherglen there remains victims of IRA atrocities who are in the middle of a campaign for justice.

“Regimental Blues are a very flexible organisation which can change its methods of campaigning to suit any situation.

“Be rest assured that we are more than comfortable to do whatever it takes to deliver the results asked of us by those in our community.”


Critics of IRBS say they do not support the Northern Ireland peace process and promote terrorism, unlike organisations such as the Orange Order and Friends of Ireland.


Rutherglen Community Council were notified of the march. Chairman Tommy Rooney said they do not involve themselves in processions but admitted he was worried about the prospect of trouble flaring.

He said: “That is the main concern, that we could have trouble and innocent people will get caught up in it.”

Groups have a legal right to parade and are not required to submit an application to the council. Only the police can stop a procession on public safety grounds.

A spokesperson for Police Scotland said: “We are aware an application has been submitted and it is currently being reviewed.

“If the application is successful and the event goes ahead, it will have an appropriate police presence.”

South Lanarkshire Council are inviting comments on the march until July 26.

A spokesman said: “A decision will be made in terms of the legislation prior to the proposed parade.”