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Orange Order anger as parade banned from peace gates

By Rebecca Black

Published 23/06/2016

William Humphrey
William Humphrey

The Orange Order has accused the Parades Commission of "rewarding republicans" after it barred the annual Whiterock parade from passing through peaceline gates in Belfast.

There was outrage from DUP MLA William Humphrey earlier this week after the parading body ruled that the procession could not pass through the gates at Workman Avenue.

For the past few years, a small group from the head of the march has been allowed to pass through the gates. The remainder went through the site of the former Mackies factory.

But this year, the entire parade must use the alternative route. The Parades Commission said the ruling followed complaints about the conduct of the parade and related protest last year.

Around 950 participants and 16 bands are to take part in the march on Saturday, which will travel from West Belfast Orange Hall along the Shankill Road, Ainsworth Avenue, Workman Avenue and back to the Shankill.

It is organised by the Orange Order's No. 9 District Lodge.

Officers and members of the lodge issued a statement saying they were "repulsed and appalled by yet another outrageous and ill-judged determination re their annual Whiterock Parade".

The Parades Commission said the opening of permanently closed gates at the peace wall without cross-community consultation was not in keeping with recommendations.

"The commission has determined that no part of the parade may cross the peace lines through the Workman Avenue gates," it added.

Belfast Telegraph

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