Frazer can attend Somme parade

Published Friday, 28 June 2013
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Loyalist campaigner Willie Frazer can attend a parade marking the Battle of the Somme, a judge ruled on Friday.

Frazer can attend Somme parade
Willie Frazer at a protest outside Laganside courts last month. (© Pacemaker)

The 53-year-old was also given permission to be at a Twelfth of July Orange Order demonstration and the annual Scarva sham fight a day later. But he was banned from saying anything publicly about any of the gatherings or the union flag dispute.

Frazer, from Markethill, Co Armagh, is charged with encouraging offences by an address to flag demonstrators in January.

He is also accused of three counts of taking part in an un-notified public procession, obstructing traffic in a public place, and possession of a prohibited weapon, namely a Taser stun-gun.

In March he was granted bail on a series of tight conditions. They included an order not to be within two miles of public protests, demonstrations or processions.

He appeared before Belfast Magistrates' Court seeking to have that prohibition temporary lifted for three forthcoming events.

You can attend quietly all three events without making any comment to anyone about the events

District Judge Austin Kennedy

Frazer wanted permission to go to a Somme commemoration event in Co Armagh on Monday, a Twelfth parade in Newtownhamilton, and the Scarva sham fight on 13 July. Police opposed the application, claiming the situation within the loyalist community remains volatile.

A constable told the court Frazer's attendance at the events could inflame others to commit offences.

But defence counsel Richard Smyth argued that his rights to freedom of assembly and religious expression were involved.

Referring to the Somme commemoration event the barrister said: "That is something very close to Mr Frazer, his grandmother's seven brothers all fought in World War One."

Mr Smyth said all three events were important for the cultural identity of his client and thousands of others.

He added: "I sometimes get the impression that police and the prosecution are attempting to lay the blame for whatever tensions there are in loyalism solely at the door of Mr Frazer."

Judge Kennedy agreed to the temporary relaxation of his bail terms based on his clear record and behaviour since being released from custody.

He stressed that Frazer was still banned from making any public speeches or giving interviews connected to the flag dispute.

© UTV News
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12 Comments
Tommy Atkins in London, England wrote (513 days ago):
The main and most relevant question is. Will Willie Frazer wear his green caubeen, or his beanie at the Somme comemoration?
realistic in planet earth wrote (513 days ago):
@Deeko in Belfast UK wrote (22 hours ago): "@desodes SO WHAT.You discusting fool", it's spelt disgusting deeko, also - have a look at wee willie's wikipedia page- he really is a 'discusting fool'...... his comments can hardly be seen as rational....... :)
realistic in planet earth wrote (513 days ago):
@Deeko in Belfast UK wrote (2 days ago): "At left sock.Wiliiam Frazer has had 5 of his Relatives murdered by the Scum IRA", deeko, a valid point, and a correct one...... BUT you always come at these discussions from one side... lets not forget the scum uvf, uff, etc etc........ or maybe THEY are not scum from YOUR point of view deeko?????
Deeko in Belfast UK wrote (514 days ago):
@desodes SO WHAT.You discusting fool
Snowy in Belfast wrote (515 days ago):
Snowy in Belfast. Has willie ever been to a somme commemoration before? Don't think so; Neither has your wee man Bryson. So tell me what's that all about. Why do they want to go now?????????. I think they just want to carry a fleg.
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