BETTER together was the theme in Glasgow yesterday as speakers at the annual Orange Walk used their day in the sun to criticise First Minister Nicola Sturgeon over her apparent attempts to “manipulate” Scotland.

Taking on a new backdrop of Bellahouston Park, thousands gathered to hear a succession of speeches, many making repeated calls towards the Scottish Government to “respect the country’s wishes” and remain part of the United Kingdom.

To accommodate the second weekend of TRNSMT festival in Glasgow Green, around 60 flute bands were directed through the city centre as friends and family lined the streets to watch.

An estimated 4,500 onlookers followed the parade, many draped in Union Jack flags. Sons of Glasgow Partick and the Protestant Boys were two of the bands appearing on the day.

As expected, there was frustration for motorists and pedestrians whose Saturday morning had been largely disrupted by the event. Bewildered tourists and brave locals charged through bands to cross streets lined by police escorts. As the walk came to an end at Bellahouston Park, tops came off and drinking continued.

HeraldScotland:

(Picture cfredit: Stewart Attwood)

The order’s Right Worthy County Grand Master Brother Edward McGonnell took aim at the Scottish Government during his address of welcome, stating: “The First Minister has decided once again that although we only voted recently to remain within the UK, she’s determined for a rerun to drag us out of it.”

He added: “Now this only highlights the suspicion of many within our country that the SNP care only about one thing and one thing only, and will manipulate any situation to that end – mainly independence.”

Despite a large police presence, a lack of bag checks allowed many people to take alcohol into the event. Police Scotland confirmed that four people were arrested during the day, including two men for breach of the peace. Another man was arrested for misuse of drugs and a female was arrested for being drunk and incapable. A police spokesman said: “An estimated 4,500 took part in the parade and 4,500 followed.”

The parade was decidedly rowdier as it made its way back into the city centre around 4.30pm. Crowds could be heard for miles singing and cheering along to bands’ instrumental performances.