The Grand Orange Lodge would like to thank all members and supporters who took part in our Boyne celebration parades at the weekend.
The overwhelming majority of participants behaved impeccably and enjoyed a day of celebration. Families came out to enjoy the day and there was a wonderful atmosphere in our city streets.
Unfortunately, the actions of one or two people were a cause for concern. We have been clear on this, but state it again - if you can't celebrate your own faith and culture without taunting or mocking others then stay at home, we don't want you there.
The Orange Order is bound in the belief of religious freedoms for all. We promote our own faith, and we accept those that choose other paths.
We are aware that a couple of members of a band that was hired in for the parade did not behave to the standards we would expect. All bands that provide music at our parades are external to the Orange Order, but nonetheless, they are expected to behave to the highest of standards and this is made clear well in advance of all events.
We have already contacted one band from the parade on Saturday and that has led to the expulsion of at least one member.
We did note the comments made by Canon White about our parades. He has continually refused to meet with us for over a year. He put out a statement last night strongly criticising parade songs he perceives to be offensive, but quoted information in his statement that was supplied by Call it Out who have some interesting views of their own on songs! This is something he may wish to reflect on.
Looking ahead, we will continue to work with relevant authorities, but also seek to build on the positive steps we have taken with senior members of the Catholic Church in Scotland to work together on shared solutions where all religions show mutual respect and tolerance.