Order 'disappointed' by ban on parade

Published Wednesday, 04 June 2014
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The Orange Order has expressed its disappointment after being refused permission to march past the contentious Ardoyne shops interface by the Parades Commission.

The three Ligoniel lodges, which were not allowed to march past the north Belfast flashpoint for their return Twelfth parade last year, lodged an application to complete their march on Saturday.

Members of the Order and their supporters have staged a protest over the original decision since last summer at Twaddell Avenue.

The Parade Commission's decision on the march had been deferred to allow talks to continue between both Orange representatives, politicians and residents' groups.

This weekend's parade, the Orange Order said, was the "best opportunity" to resolve the issue.

However, on Wednesday, the Parades Commission ruled that the march could not proceed past the Ardoyne shops.

A statement from the Order described the announcement as "hugely disappointing".

It continued: "Six minutes is all it will take for the Ligoniel lodges and accompanying bands to process peacefully along the main arterial route of the Crumlin Road.

"It is therefore hugely disappointing, despite numerous overtures and indeed dialogue with Ardoyne residents, that the Parades Commission chooses to blatantly ignore the concept of shared space in north Belfast and has bowed once again to the threat of republican violence.

"Despite this setback, the Orange family and our unionist partners involved in the civil rights camp remain determined to resolve this issue."

North Belfast MP Nigel Dodds said the decision was "appalling" and "rewarded the threat of violence" from those opposed to the parade.

The DUP representative added: "The mark of the last Parades Commission was its arrogance. The mark of this commission is its weakness.

"Either way the result for unionists is the same. Shared space is denied. Identity is diminished. Demonisation is accepted by officialdom."

Sinn Féin MLA Gerry Kelly, meanwhile, said the decision was "sensible and right".

"This was the only decision the Parades Commission could have made as we move into the marching season.

"The behaviour of the loyal orders since last year's return parade and the camp put right at the interface has not helped."

The North Belfast MLA said the way forward was for unionist politicians to return to the Haass proposals and to encourage local dialogue and agreements instead of using the Parades Commission.

© UTV News
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41 Comments
William in Belfast wrote (114 days ago):
Would love to know how people can be offended by a band,not playing and carring no flags,and a orange lodge with no supporters? There are numerous parades down the road throughout the year,some dont even have a protest against them. Why is that? Where is the tolerance for 5mins of people walking past a row of shops and aroun 40 houses?
Marshy in Belfast wrote (116 days ago):
I live on this interface, Mr Dodds knows nothing of the inconvenience these unessacery show of supremacy cause to me and my family's life. Not to mention the toll it takes on our nervous system, the affects are endless and I mean that sincerely. Can we leave this tribalism in the past where it belongs.My children who are teenagers mix with young people from all religions and find this behaviour absolutely laughable, they could be enjoying a leisure facility with their friends built with the money it has wasted to police. Shocking really!
pmcbee in Ballymena wrote (117 days ago):
As a member of a band and orange lodge I have to be biaised and say that 'compromise' seems to mean nothing to the parades commission. An agreement needs reached and the terms stuck to. However, I also agree there are far too many band parades for fundraising. These are often confused with the Orange Lodge parades which are few and far between. More of these mindless idiots (both sides) need to read up on their history and make educated decisions as opposed to hasty ones. Religion is another farcical excuse....how many of these wee spidey thugs (again I refer to both sides) actually attend a place of worship on a Sunday morning. I doubt they could even spell BIBLE. I say just fence them off and let them at each other.
NHS employee in belfast wrote (117 days ago):
Why is the focus not on the fact that it has cost £90 million to protect these campers at twadell and the NHS is on it's knees due to a deficit of£90 million. Follows logic that the OO, with the help of the DUP have caused this.
Donegal in Ulster wrote (117 days ago):
Why do they need to march so many times throughout the year. Have one day of peaceful marches and let everyone get on with life. It would be good to make a day of it for everyone. Re-enact the Battle of the Boyne on the original site. Like they did in Dublin a few weeks back for the battle of clontarf. A great day for everyone. Time for change.
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