| 05th May 2006 | Modified: 16th October 2014 | Christianity, News Releases | Seen 37 times

5 May
May 5
05th May 2006
Fr Gerard Bogan, Parish Priest of St. Ninian's Parish in Hamilton has today written to the licensing committee of South Lanarkshire Council urging them to reconsider their decision to allow a parade by the "Blantyre No Surrender" Band to pass directly in front of his Church on  
Sunday 7 May at 5pm. This timing will mean the march will coincide exactly with the 5pm evening Mass.  

The permission to parade along this route at this time has been given by the council despite the fact that last September a similar parade comprising bands who were on the Orange Order's "banned" list also marched along this route, the previous march also coincided with Mass in St. Ninian's church. On that occasion Fr. Bogan registered his objections to the plans with South Lanarkshire Council and Strathclyde Police, suggesting both the route and the timing were inappropriate.  

His concerns were ignored. In the event he was assaulted by one of the marchers as he stood on the pavement outside his church he was verbally  abused and pushed before police intervened. His attacker was found guilty of a breach of the peace and also charged with the  
additional charge of aggravated sectarianism. Sentence was deferred for background reports and he will be sentenced at Hamilton Sheriff Court on 11 May.  

In view of the previous incident Fr. Bogan expressed shock and outrage today that another march should have been approved by South Lanarkshire Council, he said:  

"I was shocked when the police informed me that a Parade, with Orange Bands, was to pass within metres of our church during our Sunday evening Mass. In fact, given that there was a recorded incident of assault, when I was attacked outside the church, at the last walk (September), I thought Hamilton Police might have shown greater awareness of the situation.  

Fr Bogan added:  

"As a result of their complete lack of sensitivity in dealing with this case it is difficult to see how we can have confidence in Hamilton Police. I would urge South Lanarkshire Council for the safety of our parish community and the freedom of our worship to re-route, even at this late stage, the Orange Walk planned for Sunday, 7 May."  

Bishop Joseph Devine, Bishop of Motherwell added:  
"I am surprised and concerned to hear that a further parade has been authorised at such an inappropriate time and in such close proximity to St Ninian's Church. In view of the previous incident I hope South Lanarkshire Council accept that it would be appropriate to reroute the procession away from the church."  


Peter Kearney  
Catholic Media Office  
5 St. Vincent Place  
G1 2DH  
0141 221 1168  

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