May 26 2011 Hamilton Advertiser
AN application has been made for a march through Hamilton in support of a united Ireland.
Three-hundred people including five bands are set to take part in the parade due to take place next month.
It is being organised by Cairde Na Heireann (Friends of Ireland), the Scottish-based pro-Republican organisation who campaign against anti-Irish racism and sectarianism.
It is the second time the group have organised a parade through the streets of Hamilton.
Last year’s anti-Irish racism parade passed off largely without incident although there was one arrest and the 400 marchers were heckled by about 25 Loyalist demonstrators.
According to papers lodged with South Lanarkshire Council, Cairde Na Heireann plan a march in Hamilton on Saturday, June 25, starting at midday.
The organisers say that the parade is due to start at Cadzow Industrial Estate and continue into Low Waters Road, Portland Place, Gateside Street, Quarry Street, Brandon Street, Leechlee Road, Cadzow Street, Muir Street, Almada Street and Beckford Street.
It will conclude with a rally in the car park behind South Lanarkshire Council offices.
Organisers say they are also hoping to attract a speaker from Sein Fein to the rally.
It is estimated that the march and rally should last about one and a half hours.
Bands due to take part are Coatbridge Republican Flute Band, James Connolly RFB, Vol Martin Doherty, Irish Republican Martyrs RFB, Vol Sean McIllvenna RFB, Cairde Na Heireann Cumainn.
Franny McAdam, national organiser for Cairde Na Heireann, said: “We will be marching through Hamilton in support of change, for a united Ireland.
“We want it to be peaceful.
“We had a debriefing about last year’s march and both the police and the council were happy with the way it went.”
He added that the woman arrested at last year’s march was not connected with their organisation.
Cairde Na Heireann were in the news last month when a suspect package, addressed to the organisation’s Gallowgate office, was intercepted in Belfast.
The package is thought to have been a nail bomb.
It was investigated by police probing similar packages sent to Celtic manager Neil Lennon and high-profile Celtic supporters Paul McBride QC and former MSP Trish Godman.
Mr McAdam said: “We have been carrying on as normal.
“It will not stop us doing what we are doing.
“It has added to our support all over Scotland. We have had hundreds of new members since it happened – people who in the past would possibly not have had any sympathy with us.”
Cairde Na Heireann stage regular marches across the Central Belt. They include the Bloody Sunday march in Glasgow each January.
A spokesman for the council said: “To date we have not received any objections to this notification.
“A report has been received from Strathclyde Police. A meeting will be held shortly with the organiser to discuss the contents of the report.
“We are not in a position to confirm when a decision will be made until after the outcome of the meeting.”