Belfast Telegraph

Parades: Orange Order once again denied march past Ardoyne flashpoint

By John Mulgrew

The Orange Order has once again been refused permission to march along a contentious stretch of road in north Belfast.

A total of three lodges had applied to the Parades Commission to march along the stretch past the Ardoyne shops - the scene of several nights of rioting following this year's Twelfth.

Today's determination comes as an Orange Order plan to resolve the bitter dispute over the controversial parade route was met with a cool reception from republicans.

Responding to the decision, the Orange Order described it as "shameful".

"The Twaddell Initiative outlined by the County Grand Orange Lodge of Belfast was a genuine and sincere attempt to resolve the current impasse, and reach an equitable solution allowing our Ligoniel brethren to complete their Twelfth parade in a dignified manner," it said.

The decision comes after five nights of violent rioting in north and east Belfast this summer, which erupted after bands were prevented to walking along the stretch of the Crumlin Road.

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

Following the trouble, subsequent parades by the Orange Order have not been allowed to pass by the junction of Woodvale Parade and Woodvale Road.

Since the Twelfth, a loyalist protest camp has been occupied 24 hours a day by those who have vowed to remain there until the Parades Commission allows the lodges to 'finish their Twelfth of July parade'.

North Belfast DUP MP Nigel Dodds said Wednesday's decision from the Parades Commission "demonstrates that they have learnt nothing from the experiences of recent years".
 
"The Twaddell Initiative is a real attempt to move things forward. The out of hand rejection by Cara of a morning parade and intensive dialogue demonstrates their bad faith in past talks," he said.

"Now that they have a proposal which previously they didn’t object to, they still find reasons to oppose and reject it."

BACKGROUND

Violence erupted in the Woodvale area of north Belfast when Orangemen were stopped from marching past Ardoyne while returning from Twelfth demonstrations. Since then, protest parades have taken place against the Parades Commission ruling every night and loyalists have set up a camp at Twaddell Avenue.

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