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Sunday, 2 April, 2000, 16:39 GMT 17:39 UK
Orangemen's march bid fails
Orangemen parade
Angus Council refused to allow the march to go ahead
Members of a Scottish Orange lodge have lost their appeal to win the right to march through their town.

The Forfar-based Wishart Arch Defenders, banned by the local SNP-run council from holding a spring march in the town, heard a special sitting of the Sheriff Court on Saturday uphold Angus Council decision to refuse permission for the procession.

The Wishart Arch Defenders had planned to march through Forfar for the first time on Sunday to commemorate the death of the protestant martyr George Wishart who was burnt at the stake in the 16th century.

'Bigotry and sectarianism'

Fearing that the event could lead to sectarian trouble, Angus Council intervened, banning the procession.

The Orangemen challenged the decision and, earlier this week, the court ordered the local authority to reconsider.

But councillors voted unanimously to stand by the original decision, telling the Orange Order that its brand of "bigotry and sectarianism" was not welcome in Angus.

The county grand master, James MacLean, described the verdict as the product of "small people with small minds".

Mr MacLean said he believed the prohibition order was politically motivated and a violation of members' civil rights under European law.

He said he was disappointed by the decision but added he would return to court to appeal to be allowed to march at a later date.

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18 Oct 99 | Scotland
Parades 'fun affairs' - Trimble
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