Band accused of playing “sectarian songs” in Newry reject Charlie Casey’s comments | Latest Newry News, Newry Sport and Newry Business for Newry City

Band accused of playing “sectarian songs” in Newry reject Charlie Casey’s comments

Markethill Protestant Boys Flute band have rejected recent comments by Sinn Fein Councillor Charlie Casey.

The Newry Councillor told Newry Times last week that he filed a complaint with the Parades Commission following an early morning Royal Black Preceptory parade on 13th July in which he said several “blatantly sectarian songs” were played on the streets of Newry by the Markethill Protestant Boys Band.

According to Casey, he says he witnessed the playing of ‘The Famine Song’ and raised the issue with parade stewards and the PSNI.

 A Spokesperson for Markethill Protestant Boys Flute band said they ‘rejected totally’ his assertion regarding the performance of the band. “Given the blatantly infantile and ambiguous description of our role in the long established Royal Black Preceptory procession in the City he provides, his statement can only be interpreted as nothing less than politicking and an attempt to raise tensions in the area.”

Article continues below:

“At the core of the Councillor’s claim is the obviously false declaration that the band plays songs, inflammatory or otherwise. Markethill Protestant Boys, and indeed every other band within the massive Ulster marching band movement, do not play ‘songs’. Our band and all others play music.

“Our band does not sing, nor do we have any sort of accompaniment who sing. We play musical scores which come from a vast and diverse range of sources.

“Our current repertoire includes classical music, Scottish jigs and reels and television and film themes, alongside what most regard as being traditional Irish airs. Popular music also features heavily, and it is a piece from this genre that Councillor Casey has fixated.”

The Spokesperson continued, “Irrespective of what others may choose to perceive or believe, the melody referenced is the ‘John B Sails’, a centuries old piece of folk music from the Bahamas. Unsurprisingly, Ulster marching bands have been interpreting and playing the piece since it came to worldwide notice after being recorded in 1966 by the Beach Boys as the ‘Sloop John B’.

“It is notable that in his claim of other sectarian and triumphalist ‘songs’ being performed, he was unable to name any specific airs.

“Markethill Protestant Boys pride ourselves on our discipline, our deportment and our musical integrity. We are satisfied that we have not breached any guidelines by the Parades Commission and indeed that we have not committed any offence within a legal framework.”

The statement added, “On the contrary, we believe that the ambiguity and blatant misrepresentations contained in the statement from Councillor Casey classifies as defamation and we have forwarded it to our legal representatives to assess the possibility of legal recourse.”

More on this story:

Anger over “blatantly sectarian songs” played on the streets of Newry

Short URL:

Posted by on Jul 24 2017. Filed under Community, Politics. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. You can leave a response or trackback to this entry

Leave a Reply

Find us on Facebook

Log in | Designed by Gabfire themes