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Ardoyne Orange Order parade given green light by Parades Commission

By Jonny Bell

Published 28/09/2016

The Orange Order has protested over the restriction for three years.
The Orange Order has protested over the restriction for three years.

The Parades Commission has given the green light for this Saturday's Ardoyne Orange Order march.

A ground-breaking deal was agreed last week after talks between the Crumlin Ardoyne Residents’ Association (CARA) and the three lodges concerned.

It was agreed that there would be a parade this Saturday and the lodges would not apply for future return parades until local agreement could be established.

The application for the march was made on Monday and it considered on Tuesday.

A spokesperson for the Parades Commission said: “The agreement between the Orange Order and CARA presents an opportunity for resolution of the decades-long parading disputes at the Crumlin Road.

“The Commission’s assessment is that there is evidence of support within the local north Belfast communities to achieve the agreement’s desired aims.

“The initiative raises expectations for improved community relations in local north Belfast communities and may address the severe disruption to the life of the local community caused by parades and protests.

More: Twaddell protest: Parade resolution in full

“The Commission reflected fully in its decision concerns about the sustainability of the agreement, the consultation process around it, and the objections to the proposed 1 October parade as part of the agreement.

“The Commission has considered that the agreement represents new information and evidence sufficient to vary, for the proposed parade on 1 October 2016, its longstanding legal response to the parading dispute on the Crumlin Road.

“The Commission has determined that the proposed morning parade on 1 October 2016 as part of a wider parading agreement may proceed under specific conditions along its notified route of the Crumlin Road.”

The Greater Ardoyne Residents Collective (GARC) said it plans to hold two protests against the parade and has called for nationalist residents to take to the streets to oppose the deal.

Since 2013 the Parades Commission has prevented the annual Twelfth return parade past the Ardoyne shop fronts.

In response the three Ligoniel lodges involved established a camp at Twaddell Avenue and held nightly protests over the determination.

The flashpoint has previously witnessed serious loyalist and republican rioting when tensions boiled over.

Dissident republicans had also used the nightly gathering of police in the area to target officers.

The bill for policing the standoff was in excess of £21m.

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