Marchers set sights on return to Denny

A protestor tries to get his point across to stewards
A protestor tries to get his point across to stewards
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Organisers of the Irish republican march in Denny have said they hope to return to the town in the future.

The procession on Saturday, held to campaign against anti-Irish racism, passed off peacefully.

More than 430 people took part according to police.

Members and supporters of Cairde Na hEireann assembled at the lower end of Nethermains Road before the event began at 10.15 a.m.

The procession was led by the Coatbridge Republican and Calton Irish Republican flute bands, and was flanked by a large number of police officers.

Many of the marchers carried a variety of flags and banners, with one proclaiming that ‘Scotland’s shame is not sectarianism – it’s anti-Irish racism”.

As the march made its way down Nethermains Road, many curious bystanders could be seen looking on.

One Denny resident, who asked not to be named, said: “I’m not for or against this march.

“The Orange Lodge are granted permission to parade through the town, so other groups should be allowed to as well.

“In my opinion, however it’s being held 50 years too late. There is no problem with anti-Irish racism in the town today.”

Around 100 objectors to the event congregated at the junction with Stirling Street, flanked by a line of police officers.

Some shouts and booing could be heard as the march passed by.

Police said that a woman was later arrested for sectarian breach of peace.

The march eventually concluded at the lower part of Herbertshire Castle Park, where those assembled heard speeches from Cairde Na hEireann chairman Tommy Stevenson and former national organiser Jim Slaven.

Mr Stevenson told The Falkirk Herald that he felt his members had behaved extremely well.

He said: “I have to thank Central Scotland Police for their co-operation in making this event possible, they are by far the best force I have worked with.

“The reception we’ve had in the town has been a wee bit fiery at times, but that’s maybe because this is the first march we’ve done here. We would hope to return in the future.”