Belfast Telegraph

Tuesday 22 July 2014

Talks bid to reach parades deal

A controversial Apprentice Boys march passes peacefully by the Ardoyne Road last year

Loyalists and republicans are in talks aimed at defusing tension at the Ardoyne parades flashpoint.

The north Belfast interface has seen repeated rioting around controversial parades, but representatives of the marchers and nationalist residents announced they are now in talks to avoid clashes this summer.

Both sides asked for space to allow their initiative to work towards securing a compromise on the way ahead.

The North and West Belfast Parades & Cultural Forum confirmed it was in talks with the nationalist Crumlin Ardoyne Residents Association (CARA) and said the Parades Commission had been notified.

The Forum's Winston Irvine said: "Our efforts will be focused on trying to reach an arrangement that will be mutually acceptable to both groups and the wider community that we serve".

He added: "In the first instance, a key principle of this engagement is to keep the local community informed of any significant developments throughout the process".

It was confirmed that the discussions began on March 21.

CARA spokesman Joe Marley said: "We therefore ask for space to develop this process and trust that these efforts will not be undermined in any way".

He added: "It is in this vein we would request that people resist making unhelpful speculation and allow both groups to report any significant developments in an accurate and responsible manner to the wider community."

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