DUP Assembly Member for North Down, Alex Easton MLA has responded to the jail sentence handed down to a bandsman for playing “The Sash” in contravention to a Parades Commission determination relating to the Ulster Covenant centenary parade.

Alex Easton MLA said:

“This is an extremely grave situation for the bandsman and his family. To be sentenced to three months in prison for playing “The Sash” as part of a parade is an extremely draconian and harsh sentence to be handed down.”

“Whilst the rule of law should be respected and upheld, I am at a loss to understand why such a tough and disproportionate sentence should have been handed down.”

“On the day of the Ulster Covenant centenary parade passed virtually without incident and was an enjoyable day for all involved. It is regrettable that at a time when much more serious alleged offences are not being brought before a judge that someone should be jailed for playing a traditional tune”, said the DUP Assembly Member.”