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Ardoyne: Orange Order again denied parade past contentious Belfast flashpoint

Decision had been expected not to allow marchers past Ardoyne shops

By John Mulgrew

The Orange Order has once again been denied permission to parade past a contentious flashpoint in north Belfast.

The Order had lodged applications for the parades over the next three consecutive weekends, including the contentious route along Crumlin Road past Ardoyne.

But the Parades Commission has once again denied marchers to pass by the predominantly nationalist area this Saturday or the following.

Tuesday's expected decision by the commission follows the blocking of two parades along the route.

The first - during the Twelfth - led to five nights of violent rioting in north and east Belfast, followed the decision to prevent the lodges walking along a stretch of the Crumlin Road.

The violence left more than 70 officers injured and cost tax payers millions.

Following the violence a subsequent protest parade last Saturday was also denied access along the contentious route.

Amidst a massive PSNI security operation at the weekend, the County Grand Orange Lodge of Belfast had handed leaflets to supporters warning trouble-makers to stay away.

This week Belfast county grand chaplain Rev Mervyn Gibson told the Belfast Telegraph there was no reason why the situation should become a long-running dispute, similar to that at Drumcree.

He said he believed that "nobody wants the long haul".

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