A NEW location will be today added to the list of towns and cities across Scotland that have hosted marches and rallies for independence.

Stornoway will host its first march and rally in an event organised by Outer Hebrides For Independence.

The march will also mark the first official appearance of the new Saor Alba pipe band. Pipers and drummers from across Scotland have come together to form the band which they intend to make a regular feature of the independence marches and rallies throughout Scotland.

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It has been planned from the outset as a family-friendly day with live music, stalls and face painting while those attending will be able to participate in a ceilidh which will be held in the evening at Stornoway Golf Club.

The gathering point for the march is Old Acres Rugby Pitch, across from Comhairle nan Eilean Siar’s offices on Sandwick Road. People will be able to gather from noon onwards with the march itself due to begin at 2pm.

The march will proceed by Sandwick Road to Matheson Road and then by the Spar roundabout to Kenneth Street, Castle Street and back to the starting point.

A contingent of Yes Bikers will also be in attendance to provide their own accompaniment to what is sure to be a fun event.

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Saor Alba co-founder George Kempik said earlier this month: “Yesterday we completed our final practice before we head to the Lewis march and Glasgow on May 4. We also handed out the majority of the uniforms.

“It was a pretty thought-provoking practice for me, having initially got together with Jim Edwards and Derek Campbell with an idea about eight or nine months ago.

“The idea was ‘let’s try forming some kind of band that will perform at the marches and events in support of Scottish independence.’

“Some kind of band is what you are going to get and I’m pretty sure everyone will be blown away.

“What an amazing commitment from all involved, doing stuff to get this on the road you wouldn’t believe.”

Alasdair Allan SNP MSP for the Na h-Eileanan an Iar constituency, said: “It’s really exciting to see an activity of this kind taking place in Stornoway. It promises to be a fun day out for everyone, and I hope that as many independence-supporting islanders as possible will be able to attend.

“With marches for Scotland’s independence now taking place the length and breadth of the country, the UK Government can be in no doubt of the significant and growing appetite there is for Scotland to take control of its own affairs.

“I passionately believe that Scotland will flourish as an independent country, and I think we are reaching the point now where a majority of people in Scotland believe that too.”