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Concern over invite to ‘Sons of Kai’ band

By Evan Short

The Crumlin Ardoyne Residents’ Association say they are concerned at the Royal Black Institution’s decision include a ‘blood and thunder’ band on their application for a parade past nationalist homes on the Crumlin Road at Ardoyne on Saturday, August 30.

Spokesman Joe Marley told the North Belfast News the inclusion of the Rathcoole Sons of Kai sent out all the wrong signals, something a delegation from the group told the Parades Commission when they met on Tuesday.

From the days of the Tartan gangs in the 1970s, the acronym KAI has been understood to stand for ‘Kill All Irish’. But in 2006 after a contentious parade an Orange Order spokesman told our sister paper the Andersonstown News the initials were a tribute to former Rangers player Kai Johansen, who played for the club in the 1960s.

Joe said his group has a number of concerns regarding the August 30 parade.

“We made it clear to the Parades Commission that the name of the band isn’t lost on local people and, really, if the loyal orders are serious about trying to engage people in a positive way, to encourage blood and thunder and kick the Pope bands to take part in their parades is probably not the best way to do it.

“We view these morning parades as every bit as contentious as the evening ones, given that the main parade itself is taking place in Larne. Feeder parades do nothing but raise tensions.”

There’s puzzlement in the Ardoyne area at the decision to hire the Rathcoole band, he said.

“In the context of Ardoyne, they (the Black Institution) always seemed to be more moderate so I don’t know what message they are trying to send this year by getting this band in.”

He also said all attempts at dialogue had so far come to nothing.

“There’s been no response to our request to re-engage and we made the Parades Commission aware of that when we met.”

The North Belfast News contacted the Royal Black Institution but no-one was available for comment as we went to press.


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