Stones thrown at cars as parade ends in Rasharkin

Police have received a number of reports of missiles being thrown at cars following a loyalist parade in Rasharkin on Friday evening.

Twenty-five bands took part in the procession in the Co Antrim village organised by the Ballymaconnelly Sons of Conquerors flute band, while a number of protestors held signs behind a police barricade.

Cars were targeted as they left the village following the conclusion of the parade, it is understood.

Chief Inspector Mark McClarence said: “Shortly after 9pm police on duty in Rasharkin received reports that stones were being thrown at cars in the vicinity of Main Street.

“One vehicle was reported to have sustained a stone chip to a window as a result of the incident. There were no reports of any injuries.”

He continued: “A police investigation is now ongoing and I would appeal to anyone who witnessed this incident or anyone with any information that can assist with the investigation to contact officers in Ballymoney on 101.

“Information can also be passed anonymously via the independent charity Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.”

Local UUP Councillor Darryl Wilson said described the incident has “wholly unacceptable”.

“Unfortunately it only takes a small mindless minority to stir up unnecessary tension instead of aiming towards the shared space which we all desire,” he said.

Sinn Féin East Antrim MLA Oliver McMullan called for “inclusive dialogue” to resolve outstanding issues around parades.

The Parades Commission banned Dervock Young Defenders flute band from taking part in the parade.

TUV leader Jim Allister watches on as a parade hosted by Ballymaconnelly Sons of Conquerors passes through Rasharkin. Credit: Pacemaker