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Ardoyne residents group slams 'shady deal'

Published 24/09/2016

Members of Greater Ardoyne Residents Collective (GARC) protest against an Orange parade in July 2015
Picture by Kelvin Boyes / Press Eye
Members of Greater Ardoyne Residents Collective (GARC) protest against an Orange parade in July 2015 Picture by Kelvin Boyes / Press Eye

An Ardoyne residents group has slammed a deal over the Twaddell parade dispute as "shady" and vowed to continue to protest against any Orange parade through the area.

The Greater Ardoyne Residents Collective has poured cold water over a deal struck between the residents group Cara and the three Orange lodges involved with long-running dispute.

Deal finally struck to bring an end to Ardoyne parade dispute  

The deal - which remains subject to approval by the Parades Commission - will allow a return parade next Saturday, October 1 at 8am.

It with allow the lodges to complete their 2013 parade, with a commitment that Orangemen will not apply for future return parades without local agreement, and will dismantle the protest camp at Twaddell.

Agreement reached over Orange Order Ardoyne parade - Twaddell protest camp set to be dismantled  

However GARC has insisted there has been no "local agreement between residents" and the Orange Order.

"Instead there has been a shady deal, heavily influenced by promises of millions of pounds in funding, between Sinn Féin and the UVF," GARC said in a statement.

"There has been no comprehensive consultation with residents.

"A meeting of 30 or so invited people, mostly Sinn Fein members from various parts of Belfast, is not a comprehensive consultation representative of a community numbering thousands."

GARC has vowed to continue to protest against any Orange parade passed Ardoyne shops.

"Sinn Féin's end of the bargain, that there will be no future residents' protests, can not be guaranteed," the group said.

"GARC will continue to provide residents with the opportunity to demonstrate their opposition to Loyal Order marches through this area.

"While those who do deals with the UVF continue to count their blood money to get themselves to sleep at night."

Last week a number of members of a Ballysillan Orange lodge threatened to quit in the earlier stages of the negotiations over the deal.

Lodge members threaten to quit Orange Order over 'dirty deal' to end Twaddell protest

Two of the lodges backed the deal but there has been division within the third, Ballysillan LOL 1891.

Up to eight of Ballysillan's members have either resigned or are threatening to resign from the Orange Order, claiming they felt "pressurised" into accepting the agreement, which they have slammed as a "dirty deal".

In one of the resignation letters, a member claims that some Orange Order members have "bowed to pressure with a result they are now dancing to a Republican tune". They also express frustration at what they view as a "complete waste of time".

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