Denny marchers warned to behave

Marchers  took to the streets of Denny
Marchers took to the streets of Denny

Participants in the procession through Denny on Saturday have been warned by police to be on their best behaviour.

The reminder from Central Scotland Police applies to both those taking part in the event and anyone who plans to demonstrate against it.

The march, organised by political group Cairde Na hEireann – Friends of Ireland – will begin at 10.15 a.m.

Falkirk Council’s civic licensing board gave the go-ahead to the event at a meeting last Wednesday, despite receiving multiple objections from local residents.

Around 400 people are expected to take part.

Superintendent Robbie McGregor, Falkirk’s Area Commander, said: “Central Scotland Police has been working with the local authority, organisers and the local community with a view to minimising any potential disruption to community life as a result of this event.

“The event is authorised, it is lawful and those who take part must adhere to the law like anyone else. This includes anyone who may be inclined to become involved in supporting the procession or indeed any counter demonstration.

“As always, Central Scotland Police will facilitate peaceful protest.

‘‘However, anyone engaging in criminal behaviour should be aware that my officers will deal with it swiftly and appropriately. In all instances, the priority of my officers will be public safety.”

The agreed route will take marchers from the south end of Nethermains Road, along Stirling Street before concluding at Herbertshire Castle Park.

The group had originally applied for the procession to begin and end at Winchester Avenue, but this was changed following objections from Denny Community Council.

However the decision to change the route has not pleased everyone.

Gary Clarke, secretary of Dunipace Juniors under-15s football team, is unhappy that the march will now end at Herbertshire Castle Park.

He said: “We had been due to play a derby there on Saturday against Falkirk Juveniles.

“It is a popular venue for local teams and there’s usually about 40 kids playing there every other Saturday.

“But, after discussions with the club and parents, we have decided to switch the game to Falkirk.

“We just cannot take a gamble with kids’ safety. There are now meant to be 400 marchers congregating at the park on that morning, and god knows how many other demonstrators.

“I’m not saying there will definitely be trouble, but we just can’t take that chance.

“I’m absolutely livid that no one has bothered to consult us about changing the route of the march.

“These pitches are in regular use and yet no-one considered this when they decided to change it.”

A spokesperson for Falkirk Council said: “We have discussed the situation with the football organisers and they have agreed to switch the fixture on Saturday.

“We sympathise with their situation, however we stress that the police have indicated that their players would have been provided with adequate safety measures should their game have gone ahead.”