Ardoyne restrictions 'shameful', says OO

Published Wednesday, 02 October 2013
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The Orange Order has said the decision of the Parades Commission to ban a march from passing the Ardoyne shop fronts in north Belfast on Saturday morning is "shameful".

Ardoyne restrictions 'shameful', says OO
The Order has been banned from passing the Ardoyne shopfronts. (© Presseye)

The parade involving three Ligoniel Lodges and two bands will not be allowed to proceed past the junction of Woodvale Parade and Woodvale Road at 9am.

Plans for the march were made after the Order announced negotiations with residents as part of what it calls the Twaddell Initiative will only start after Orangemen complete their return parade past the Ardoyne shops.

Violence erupted after a Twelfth parade was barred from returning past the flashpoint in July. Loyalist protests have been ongoing since then.

On Wednesday, the Parades Commission said it reaffirmed its call for "sincere and sustained" dialogue as the best route map to resolve parading issues at Ardoyne.

"The Commission notes that the purpose of this parade is to complete the route that the Commission placed restrictions on in respect of the 12 July 2013 evening parade," a spokesperson said.

Reacting, the County Grand Orange Lodge of Belfast said the determination was denying "Ligoniel brethren from completing their traditional Twelfth parade".

The campaign will continue for the lodges to be allowed to go home.

Orange Order

The Order described the determination as a "setback".

It said Orangemen and loyalist protesters will maintain their ongoing presence at Twaddell Avenue.

A spokesman said: "The Twaddell Initiative outlined by the County Grand Orange Lodge of Belfast was a genuine and sincere attempt to resolve the current impasse, and reach an equitable solution allowing our Ligoniel brethren to complete their Twelfth parade in a dignified manner.

"It is shameful that the Parades Commission - who created the situation at Woodvale - choose to consistently deny civil and religious liberty for all in north Belfast, and blatantly ignore a commitment by the Institution to full and open dialogue with Ardoyne residents following the completion of this long-held and traditional parade."

Meanwhile, the parades watchdog said it has "set out a route map" to solve parading issues at the flashpoint.

"The Commission was assured by those representing the Orange Order that the dialogue commenced, just six days before the 12 July parade, would continue no matter what the decision of the Commission," a statement said.

"The Commission is disappointed that this has not yet happened."

The Commission clearly outlined the need for sincere and sustained dialogue.

Parades Commission

The spokesperson said that the Commission was also "mindful of the significant and unjustified violence that followed the enforcement of its 12th July determination".

"The Commission also notes regular breaches at Twaddell Avenue at parades notified by this organiser of a civil rights camp and increasing tensions at this interface area," they continued.

"The Commission calls on all elected representatives, clergy and community activists and representatives of parading organisations to demonstrate genuine civic leadership to use their influence to reduce the potential for conflict, uphold the law and develop robust community relations."

North Belfast DUP MP Nigel Dodds said the decision demonstrates that the Parades Commission "have learnt nothing from the experience of recent years".

"The Twaddell Initiative is a real attempt to move things forward. The Ligoniel lodges and bands made a genuine and sincere proposal to move the situation forward," he said.

"They were not found wanting with the Twaddell Initiative. This problem is not going to go away and this decision by the Parades Commission does nothing to bring us closer to a resolution."

But Sinn Féin North Belfast MLA Gerry Kelly said the decision was a “sensible one” and called for the civil rights camp set up at Twaddell Avenue to move in order to “lessen community tension”.

He said: “This was clearly an attempt to undermine the Parades Commission who had made their determination on the July 2013 parade.

"The dialogue that began before 12 July, to find a resolution to the situation, should recommence without pre-conditions."

© UTV News
Comments Comments
82 Comments
Fed up in Belfast wrote (197 days ago):
@daddypobbin. So we make the OO pay? Ok then, lets examine the costs of policing the Ardoyne response to the parade two years ago. Who pays this?
Melonz in Belfast wrote (197 days ago):
To Eamo: Firstly, if I didn't believe my comment I doubt I would have written it! Secondly, like you, I am not privy to the Orange Order strategy but, like any sane person, I believe dialogue is good. I also assume from your geography lesson, ALL of the Crumlin Road is now out of bounds to parades? (Again think "shared space"). Lastly, no one is a second class citizen. We just can't seem to share.
Melonz in Belfast wrote (197 days ago):
@PD in Belfast: please advise where and when the Orange Order have paraded "through" a Nationalist area. I am truly interested to know.
Pinnochio in Belfast wrote (198 days ago):
Orange Order protests their innocense in previous breaches of determinations. Bandsmen are drawn in to provocation by nationalists, republicans and local residents. They are exercising the traditional rights and heritage in a lawful and peaceful manner. As a body that can support beliefs, maintain heritage, join, divide, they are believers of our shared Utopia, who believe, at the heart of orangism, in a Christian belief. Repeatedly agreeing to observe the PC determinations but have gone several times without being held accountable by the British law they defend.... have now agreed that if they xtra xtra xtra promise next time they will maybe diminish their embarrassing (KKK like, in some opinions) campaign, not only in convincing their own members but with the fantasy of convincing all members of society in Northern Ireland, even the ones they stand against. Sparticus off today. I agree but hey I am ......
Arthur in Belfast wrote (198 days ago):
@JR in Belfast. Sir, I have read the first sentence of your post and thought it conveyed consideration and an unbiased opinion after a careful synopsis of the situation at the Twaddell interface. It was there this impression stopped. If Sinn Fein are trying to achieve a United Ireland, they must be doing it through the Assembly, an institution created democratically established by the electorate in Northern Ireland. Do they want to bring Northern Ireland to it's end? They have a funny way of doing it if they are. The Orange Order along with others are orchestrating the problems presented by their ongoing protests, it has nothing to do with the removal of flegs or objections to parades. The facade of being members of the governing bodies here was afforded to them by the electorate of this province - grow up and live with it!
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