Residents angry at parade ruling

Published Wednesday, 07 November 2012
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North Belfast residents have expressed anger that the Parades Commission has ruled on an upcoming Belfast parade, despite ongoing dialogue with the Apprentice Boys.

Residents angry at parade ruling
Disputes have been ongoing over the parade route past a Catholic Church. (© Pacemaker)

The Apprentice Boys have now met with the Carrick Hill residents several times ahead of the Remembrance Day parade on Saturday in attempts to resolve tensions.

But on Tuesday, the Parades Commission ruled that the Apprentice Boys parade will be allowed to play only hymns for part of the route - from the junction of Donegall Street and Union Street.

Five bands and 400 participants will take part in the parade as it makes its way along Donegall Street and Clifton Street on the return journey.

No parade supporters are allowed between the junction of Donegall Street and Royal Avenue, and the junction of the Westlink and Clifton Street.

Parade protestors have been limited to 150.

"The meetings with the Apprentice Boys were a constructive set of meetings," Frank Dempsey, chair of Carrick Hill Concerned Residents' Group, said.

We're bitterly, bitterly disappointed by the Parades Commission's ruling, in so far as it undermines the dialogue we've been in with the Apprentice Boys.

Frank Dempsey

Jim Brownlee, Governor of Apprentice Boys Derry, said Saturday's march was an "annual Remembrance parade- causing no offence" and they were disappointed that people felt the need to protest.

"Although we reluctantly accept the determination ... we hope the parade passes peacefully with its usual dignity and discipline as experienced in previous years in honouring our war dead," he said.

The Donegall Street area has become a flashpoint since trouble broke out during a Black Institution parade at the end of August.

The unrest occurred after a video showed a loyalist band playing an alleged sectarian song whilst circling outside St Patrick's Catholic Church on 12 July, although the band denied the tune was sectarian.

Meanwhile, the latest parade to pass through the area ended without incident.

Four bands and approximately 400 people took part in the County Grand Orange Lodge parade to commemorate the anniversary of the Protestant Reformation on Sunday 28 October.

© UTV News
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14 Comments
Linda in NI wrote (649 days ago):
This is a main road through to Belfast City Centre the road is owned by the DOE not 'local residents' who are usually bused in to take offence. Those who want to be offended need sf/ira activists to go where they are not wanted, they then take the back seats and let everyone else fight it out, and SF talk about shared space.
stephen in belfast wrote (650 days ago):
well done to all today taking part in the parade and not for getting the protesters which was fantastic they should keep there backs turned all the time vvv
William horton in erith, kent, uk wrote (650 days ago):
Big enquiry into the apprentice boys rememberance parade past st patricks church! WHAT ABOUT THE PARADES COMMISION HAVING AN ENQUIRY INTO THE IRA BANDS PLAYING THEIR PARA MILITARY STUFF OUTSIDE PROTESTANT CHURCHES!!! IT WILL NEVER HAPPEN COS THE COMMISION IS IN FAVOUR OF THE REPUBLICANS AND ALWAYS WILL BE!
Doug in Belfast wrote (652 days ago):
I think you're missing the point Stephen. I think people are annoyed that a ruling has been made when, just for a change,there is active dialogue taking place, meaning we could have acted like grown ups and sorted things out in a genuine and encouraging manner.
ex pat in south africa wrote (652 days ago):
So what exactly are these concerned " residents" protesting about on Sunday ?Or is it another standard anti anything to do with protestant culture demo ? And i know i,ve been away from Belfast for a while but isn't Donegal Steet a main road with shops into the city centre or have they now built new housing on it for "concerned residents " ?
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