MORE than 1000 people have signed a petition calling for a loyalist march set to take place in the Highlands to be halted.

We previously told how many reacted with fury as Highland Council confirmed a march organised by the Apprentice Boys of Derry will take place in Inverness on April 20.

It will result in a number of temporary road closures and the post confirming the march provoked outrage.

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One person asked, “what on earth are you thinking” while another said it was “time to stop this bigotry and sectarianism in the Highlands”.

A petition was started on Wednesday by Alasdair Marshall, who says he is a Highland resident “concerned about the peace and harmony in our community” and that he was “alarmed” by the planned march.

He said it would “severely disrupt daily activities” and that the parades “forment a threatening atmosphere” and called on Highland Council to reconsider allowing the parade to take place.

The petition has currently been signed by more than 1600 people and is aiming to reach its next goal of 2500.

The Inverness march comes after Aberdeenshire Council blocked an Orange Order march in Stonehaven from taking place after nearly 10,000 people signed a petition calling for the parade to be banned.

A number of businesses had indicated they would close should it have been given the go-ahead.

A Highland Council spokesperson said: “The notification process for the parade was dealt with according to the requirements of the Civic Government (Scotland) Act 1982 and our scheme of delegation.

“Details of the parade route were sent to Police Scotland, Roads, and local members for consultation and no objections were received.

“The organisers were advised that there was no objection to their application and the parade could go ahead.”

A Police Scotland spokesperson meanwhile said: “We are aware of the planned march in Inverness on Saturday, April 20 2024.

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“Our policing operation will be proportionate and focused on public safety, as well as working closely with partners to reduce disruption to the wider community.”

Elsewhere, the general secretary of the Apprentice Boys of Derry said the Inverness branch of the organisation has been holding parades since opening 15 years ago.

William Moore told the Inverness Courier: “There has never been trouble at the parade which consists of a few hundred members. The event creates very little disruption and concludes after a short walk through the city centre.

“The people who describe the parade as a hate march really need to reflect on their own level of respect for other cultures and traditions.

"The parade is simply members of the association commemorating and celebrating their history and culture.

“(That is) a privilege our forefathers fought and died for, to ensure freedom of expression for everyone.

“The officers and members of the governing body of the Apprentice Boys of Derry commend and congratulate our members in Inverness for organising this annual parade, thus ensuring the sacrifice of our forefathers is not forgotten in the north of Scotland."