Glasgow city council leader vows to reroute orange walks from Catholic church

Members of the Orange Order take part in the annual County Grand Orange Order Boyne Parade through Glasgow city centre. Picture:  Jane Barlow/PA Wire
Members of the Orange Order take part in the annual County Grand Orange Order Boyne Parade through Glasgow city centre. Picture: Jane Barlow/PA Wire
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The leader of Glasgow City Council has said Orange Order parades will be re-routed away from the site of a sectarian attack on a priest

Susan Aitken urged the Orange Order to voluntarily change the route of upcoming parades to avoid St Alphonsus’ Church in the city’s east end where Canon Tom White was spat on and hit as an Orange Walk passed last week.

Writing in The Herald, Ms Aitken said: “I hope they voluntarily agree it is unacceptable for them to continue to pass these places of worship. If they do not, Glasgow City Council will insist.

“We are ready and willing to strength-test existing laws and our own codes of conduct in relation to preventing horrendous incidents like the attack on Canon Tom White.”

The Grand Orange Lodge of Scotland has said its members were not responsible for the attack and condemned “the bigoted actions of those involved”.

Ms Aitken added: “Official participants may not be involved in sectarian and anti-social incidents around parades but it’s simply not enough to absolve themselves by pointing to hangers-on.

“They need to step up and take wider responsibility for those they attract and refer to as their wider support and networks when it suits. What happens on your watch happens on your watch.”

Police continue to investigate the attack on Canon White.

Read more: Glasgow council leader urges MSPs to act over Orange walks