Belfast Telegraph

Monday 22 September 2014

Assembly recalled to discuss Orange Order parade ban

Controversy: Ardoyne last year
Controversy: Ardoyne last year
In recent years police officers have been pelted with petrol bombs, bricks and bottles while trying to keep the peace following the annual Orange Order demonstration past Ardoyne. Shots have also been fired and last year an explosive device was also hurled towards police lines.
In recent years police officers have been pelted with petrol bombs, bricks and bottles while trying to keep the peace following the annual Orange Order demonstration past Ardoyne. Shots have also been fired and last year an explosive device was also hurled towards police lines.
Protesters clash with police in Ardoyne following an Orange Order parade in North Belfast. Niall Carson/PA Wire
Protesters clash with police in Ardoyne following an Orange Order parade in North Belfast. Niall Carson/PA Wire

The Northern Ireland Assembly will be recalled next week to debate the Parades Commission's ban of an Orange Order march past Ardoyne.

While Orangemen will march past the Ardoyne shops on the Crumlin Road on Friday morning on their way to the annual Twelfth demonstration, the Parades Commission adjudication body has banned them from taking the same route on their return journey in the afternoon.

The interface area has been the scene of serious rioting on the Twelfth in recent years.

And as Unionist anger intensified over the decision, the DUP on Wednesday asked the Speaker of the Assembly to recall members to discuss the parades issue.

"In light of the determination issued by the Parades Commission last evening it is right and proper that these issues should be debated at an appropriate time next week in the Assembly to allow for the expression of opposition to a decision which many see as rewarding riotous behaviour by dissident republicans last July," said a party statement.

The Orange Order has branded the commission's decision "ludicrous" but urged supporters not to react with violence.

A spokeswoman for the Northern Ireland Assembly confirmed that a special sitting would be held after the Twelfth - on Tuesday next week.

"There will be an additional Plenary sitting of the Northern Ireland Assembly on Tuesday, 16 July 2013 after the Speaker received a valid request to recall the Assembly," she said.

"Plenary will begin at 12 noon and will discuss a Motion in respect of the impact of a determination issued by the Parades Commission on July 9 on building a shared future."

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