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Future of loyalist protest camp at Twaddell Avenue thrown into doubt

Published 05/08/2016

The loyalist protest camp at Twaddell Avenue in north Belfast
The loyalist protest camp at Twaddell Avenue in north Belfast

One of the Orange lodges behind a protest camp in north Belfast has said they will suspend its protest from midday on Saturday.

The protest camp at Twaddell  was set up after three Orange lodges were denied permission to complete their return parade along the Crumlin Road on July 13.

Ballysillan LOL 1981 said they have been “left with no option but to suspend our protest”.

However the other two lodges involved with the dispute are believed to be committed to continuing the protest camp.

Camp Twaddell is run by a committee which includes the three Orange lodges, community representatives and politicians.

It is understood that negotiations are at an advanced stage to allow the lodges to finally complete their return parade along the Crumlin Road at a date in September.

Ballysillan LOL 1981 rejected a proposed deal in July.

On Friday night they issued a statement to voice their concern at how negotiations to secure a deal have been carried out.

They said they have “taken the weeks since the latest failed initiative for the Crumlin Road impasse to consider its position and the future of the protest”.

“For our Lodge this has been always been about securing our human rights and we thank all those who have given their time and money.

“The latest failed initiative took place without our knowledge or participation, in fact GARC knew about it before the Ligoniel Lodges. The agreement was presented in different ways to the Ligoniel Lodges and the Ardoyne residents on the issue of future return parades.

“The linkage of funding to this deal is of significant concern; this was about human rights not money. CARA’s rejection of it in the face of GARC criticism demonstrates their inability to deliver.

“The secrecy, misrepresentations of the deal and breach of faith by those involved in the failed initiative leave us in a very difficult situation. In the absence of honesty and good faith by others we are left with no option but to suspend our protest.”

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