Loyalists upset at restricted parade in the north Antrim village of Rasharkin (Belfast Telegraph)

A loyalist band parade through a mainly nationalist village this Friday night must start early with a restricted number of bands, the Parades Commission has ruled.

The Ballymaconnelly Sons of Conquerors Flute Band had wanted to bring 44 bands to its annual parade in the north Antrim village of Rasharkin.

However, only 25 will be allowed, and bands must only carry certain unfurled flags and only play single drumbeats while passing protesters, whose numbers have also been limited.

The parade had been planned for 8-10pm.

But the commission said it must start at 7pm and disperse by 9pm. Two groups – Rasharkin Residents’ Collective and Rasharkin Residents’ Association – applied for a total of 500 protesters at Main Street, but that has been limited to a total of 100.

A Ballymaconnelly Band statement said its plans “have been savaged by the quango that is the Parades Commission”.

He added: “In spite of this determination, the band will parade with dignity and decorum, as will those we have invited to parade.”

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