Number of Orange Order marches in Glasgow questioned at council committee

Members of the Orange Order take part in the annual Battle of the Boyne celebrations in July 2022 in Glasgow. PIC. (Photo by Jeff J Mitchell/Getty Images)Members of the Orange Order take part in the annual Battle of the Boyne celebrations in July 2022 in Glasgow. PIC. (Photo by Jeff J Mitchell/Getty Images)
Members of the Orange Order take part in the annual Battle of the Boyne celebrations in July 2022 in Glasgow. PIC. (Photo by Jeff J Mitchell/Getty Images)
Questions over the number of Orange Order marches held  in Glasgow over the last year have been raised at a city council committee meeting. 

Between April 1, 2023 and March 31 2024 there were a total of 264 public processions held in Glasgow compared to 233 between April 1, 2022 and March 31, 2023.

A report presented to members of the well-being committee highlighted that during that time there were  135 Orange Order marches, while 24 were organised by Apprentice Boys of Derry and 10 by the Black Institute, while there were seven Republican Marches, two trade union marches, eight bands, 11 funerals and 67 “other” processions took place across the city. 

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During the meeting, members were reminded that the legal and administrative process for dealing with public processions is set out in Part V of the Civic Government (Scotland) Act 1982.

Members of the Orange Order take part in the traditional annual Battle of the Boyne celebrations. Picture: Jeff J Mitchell/Getty ImagesMembers of the Orange Order take part in the traditional annual Battle of the Boyne celebrations. Picture: Jeff J Mitchell/Getty Images
Members of the Orange Order take part in the traditional annual Battle of the Boyne celebrations. Picture: Jeff J Mitchell/Getty Images

It states that anyone organising a procession in Glasgow must notify the council at least 28 days prior to the date on which the procession is due to take place. 

After receiving the notification, the council can either agree to the procession taking place as intended or attach conditions such as making changes to the start time or the proposed route. 

Only under very limited circumstances would they prohibit the procession.  

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Under Part V of the 1982 Act, when deciding if it’s necessary to stop the march or impose conditions, the local authority must take into consideration public safety, public order, damage to property and disruption to the life of the community.

During the meeting, Irene Louden, co-opted committee member, said: “On the processions, of those which were applied for last year, how many were actually permitted?

“It just seems that the number of orange order marches is disproportionately excessive. Why are so many permitted?”

A council officer confirmed that over the period of 2023/24 there were no processions prohibited in terms of the statistics.

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They said: “It would not be appropriate to comment on whether they are excessive or not but each notification is dealt with on its own merit and dealt with under the consideration of part V of the Act. 

“Each notification has to be considered on its own merits.”

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