By Cian Molloy - 26 May, 2019
Four Orange Order parades planned for Glasgow next weekend will not be allowed to pass in front of the Catholic church where a priest was assaulted last year.
The parades, scheduled for Saturday and Sunday 1 and 2 June, were due to pass St Alphonsus Church on London Road in Calton, where last year parish priest Canon Tom White was assaulted by parade members who spat on him and on parishioners.
Since then, there has been an active campaign by the anti-racism group Call it Out to prevent anti-Catholic marches from passing Catholic churches.
Because of fears of clashes between protestors and counter-protestors on both sides of the sectarian marching divide, Police Scotland asked Glasgow City Council to order that the Orange Order parades next weekend be rerouted. Police Scotland said that if the march was not re-routed, officers from across the country would need to be drafted into Glasgow to ensure that there was no serious breach of the peace.
Unusually, the police application was not made to the council’s public processions committee, but rather the order to divert was made using the delegated powers of council officers. With tensions escalating, people said the decision had to be made at short notice because of “the high risk of disruption to the life of the community and the excessive burden likely to be placed on Police Scotland”.
The Orange Order has complained that the move effectively means that “certain streets are no-go zones to Protestants”.