Belfast Telegraph

Saturday 27 December 2014

Why Stormont should look to Londonderry for solution

The Twelfth parade during the day in peaceful circumstances
The Twelfth parade during the day in peaceful circumstances
An injured officer is helped away on Friday night
Riots kick off at Woodvale as the parades are not allowed to pass Ardoyne. A man on top of a police landrover gets blown off by the water cannon. DAVID FITZGERALD/PACEMAKER PRESS
A petrol bomb hits riot police after it was thrown by loyalist rioters in the Woodvale area of north Belfast
A petrol bomb burns on the ground in the Woodvale area of north Belfast
Loyalists protesting in the Woodvale area of north Belfast
Loyalists protesting in the Woodvale area of north Belfast
Loyalists protesting in the Woodvale area of north Belfast
Loyalists protesting in the Woodvale area of north Belfast
Loyalists protesting in the Woodvale area of north Belfast
Loyalists protesting in the Woodvale area of north Belfast
Loyalists protesting in the Woodvale area of north Belfast
Loyalists protesting in the Woodvale area of north Belfast
Loyalists protesting in the Woodvale area of north Belfast
Loyalists protesting in the Woodvale area of north Belfast
Loyalists protesting in the Woodvale area of north Belfast
A burnt car sits on the O'Neill Road in Newtownabbey
Loyalists protesting in the Woodvale area of North Belfast on Sunday. The protest follows two nights of disturbances in North Belfast after police enforced a ban on an Orange Order march on Friday. Picture by Kelvin Boyes / Press Eye.
Loyalists protesting in the Woodvale area of North Belfast on Sunday. The protest follows two nights of disturbances in North Belfast after police enforced a ban on an Orange Order march on Friday. Picture by Kelvin Boyes / Press Eye.
Loyalists protesting in the Woodvale area of North Belfast on Sunday. The protest follows two nights of disturbances in North Belfast after police enforced a ban on an Orange Order march on Friday. Picture by Kelvin Boyes / Press Eye.
Loyalists protesting in the Woodvale area of North Belfast on Sunday. The protest follows two nights of disturbances in North Belfast after police enforced a ban on an Orange Order march on Friday. Picture by Kelvin Boyes / Press Eye.
Loyalists protesting in the Woodvale area of North Belfast on Sunday. The protest follows two nights of disturbances in North Belfast after police enforced a ban on an Orange Order march on Friday. Picture by Kelvin Boyes / Press Eye.
Loyalists confront police in north Belfast, after an Orange July 12 parade was stopped from passing a Nationalist area. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Friday July 12, 2013. See PA story ULSTER Parades. Photo credit should read: Julien Behal/PA Wire
Loyalists confront police in north Belfast, after an Orange July 12 parade was stopped from passing a Nationalist area. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Friday July 12, 2013. See PA story ULSTER Parades. Photo credit should read: Julien Behal/PA Wire
Press Eye - Belfast - Sunday 14th July 2013 Loyalists peacefully protesting in the Woodvale area of North Belfast this evening. The protest follows 2 nights of disturbances in North Belfast after police enforced a ban on an Orange Order march on Friday The marching season in Northern Ireland is a period of events from April to August, with the highpoint on 12 July when Orangemen march to commemorate William of Orange's victory over the Catholic King James II at the Battle of the Boyne in Ireland in 1690. Picture by Kelvin Boyes / Press Eye.
Loyalists confront police in north Belfast, after an Orange July 12 parade was stopped from passing a Nationalist area. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Friday July 12, 2013. See PA story ULSTER Parades. Photo credit should read: Julien Behal/PA Wire
Press Eye - Belfast - Sunday 14th July 2013 Loyalists protesting in the Woodvale area of North Belfast this evening. The protest follows 2 nights of disturbances in North Belfast after police enforced a ban on an Orange Order march on Friday The marching season in Northern Ireland is a period of events from April to August, with the highpoint on 12 July when Orangemen march to commemorate William of Orange's victory over the Catholic King James II at the Battle of the Boyne in Ireland in 1690. Picture by Kelvin Boyes / Press Eye.
Loyalists hurled bricks and other missiles at police during violence clashes on the Twelfth of July.
PSNI aerial footage of Woodvale riot on Twelfth of July
PSNI arial footage of Woodvale riot on twelth of July
13/7/13 PACEMAKER PRESS BELFAST. A loyalist protestor sits on the road as nearby heavily armed riot squad PSNI officers stand firm as serious trouble broke out this evening in the Woodvale road area near Ardoyne. Picture Charles McQuillan/Pacemaker.
13/7/13 PACEMAKER PRESS BELFAST. Heavily armed riot squad PSNI officers stand firm as serious trouble broke out this evening in the Woodvale road area near Ardoyne. Picture Charles McQuillan/Pacemaker.
13/7/13 PACEMAKER PRESS BELFAST. Heavily armed riot squad PSNI officers stand firm as serious trouble broke out this evening in the Woodvale road area near Ardoyne. Picture Charles McQuillan/Pacemaker.
13/7/13 PACEMAKER PRESS BELFAST. Heavily armed riot squad PSNI officers stand firm as serious trouble broke out this evening in the Woodvale road area near Ardoyne. Picture Charles McQuillan/Pacemaker.
13/7/13 PACEMAKER PRESS BELFAST. Heavily armed riot squad PSNI officers stand firm as serious trouble broke out this evening in the Woodvale road area near Ardoyne. Picture Charles McQuillan/Pacemaker.
13/7/13 PACEMAKER PRESS BELFAST. Heavily armed riot squad PSNI officers stand firm as serious trouble broke out this evening in the Woodvale road area near Ardoyne. Picture Charles McQuillan/Pacemaker.
Violence broke out in the Woodvale area of Belfast after the Parades Commission ruled that marchers were not allowed to return along the part of the Crumlin Road at Ardoyne shops that separates nationalist and loyalist communities
Loyalists confronted police in North Belfast on the Twelfth of July, following the decision to bar Orangemen from walking through Ardoyne
North Belfast MP Nigel Dodds was injured in violence that followed an Orange Order parade. Police say Mr Dodds was knocked unconscious and taken away in an ambulance. Earlier he had appealed for calm after trouble broke out when the Orange parade was stopped on the Woodvale Road and was hit with a water cannon. Picture: Arthur Allison/Pacemaker Press
Heavily armed riot squad PSNI officers faced serious trouble last night as they enforced the Parades Commission's ruling that Orange bandsmen could not return past the nationalist Ardoyne area after the annual 12th of July parade. Picture Charles McQuillan/Pacemaker
Press Eye - Belfast - Friday 12th July 2013 Loyalist bandsmen and Orangemen pictured in the Woodvale area of west belfast with officers from the PSNI after the Parades Commission ruled that marchers are not allowed to return along the part of the Crumlin Road, at Ardoyne shops, that separates nationalist and loyalist communities. PSNI help an injured Loyalist on the Woodvale Road Thousands of Orangemen are taking part in the annual Twelfth of July parades across Northern Ireland. Picture by Kelvin Boyes / Press Eye.
Violence broke out in the Woodvale area of Belfast after the Parades Commission ruled that marchers were not allowed to return along the part of the Crumlin Road at Ardoyne shops that separates nationalist and loyalist communities
Violence broke out in the Woodvale area of Belfast after the Parades Commission ruled that marchers were not allowed to return along the part of the Crumlin Road at Ardoyne shops that separates nationalist and loyalist communities
Heavily armed riot squad PSNI officers faced serious trouble last night as they enforced the Parades Commission's ruling that Orange bandsmen could not return past the nationalist Ardoyne area after the annual 12th of July parade. Picture Charles McQuillan/Pacemaker
Heavily armed riot squad PSNI officers faced serious trouble last night as they enforced the Parades Commission's ruling that Orange bandsmen could not return past the nationalist Ardoyne area after the annual 12th of July parade. Picture Charles McQuillan/Pacemaker
Loyalist bandsmen and Orangemen pictured in the Woodvale area of west belfast with officers from the PSNI after the Parades Commission ruled that marchers are not allowed to return along the part of the Crumlin Road, at Ardoyne shops, that separates nationalist and loyalist communities.
12.07.13. PICTURE BY DAVID FITZGERALD Riots kick off at Woodvale as the parades are not allowed to pass Ardoyne.
12.07.13. PICTURE BY DAVID FITZGERALD Riots kick off at Woodvale as the parades are not allowed to pass Ardoyne.
Loyalists clash with police on Woodvale Road as they are stopped from parading any further.
Loyalists clash with police on Woodvale Road as they are stopped from parading any further. A loyalist uses a captured police baton on police lines.
12.07.13. PICTURE BY DAVID FITZGERALD Riots kick off at Woodvale as the parades are not allowed to pass Ardoyne.
12.07.13. PICTURE BY DAVID FITZGERALD Riots kick off at Woodvale as the parades are not allowed to pass Ardoyne.
PACEMAKER BELFAST 12/07/2013 Water cannon have been used in north Belfast after bricks and bottles were thrown in a sustained attack on police Land Rovers in the Woodvale area of Belfast . The attack came as police enforced a Parades Commission ruling. The ruling stops Orange Order lodges from walking on a stretch of road in north Belfast that separates loyalist and nationalist communities. Picture By: Arthur Allison/Pacemaker Press
PACEMAKER BELFAST 12/07/2013 Water cannon have been used in north Belfast after bricks and bottles were thrown in a sustained attack on police Land Rovers in the Woodvale area of Belfast . The attack came as police enforced a Parades Commission ruling. The ruling stops Orange Order lodges from walking on a stretch of road in north Belfast that separates loyalist and nationalist communities. Picture By: Arthur Allison/Pacemaker Press
12th July celebrations take place across Northern Ireland to commemorate the 1690 victory at the Battle of the Boyne by King William of Orange. Loyal Orange Lodges of Ireland parade with marching bands to celebrate the date and the Protestant faith. The return parade past the Nationalist Ardoyne shops in north Belfast is blocked by a parades commission. An injured officer is taken away as Loyalist clash with police on Woodvale Road as they are stopped from parading any further.
12th July celebrations take place across Northern Ireland to commemorate the 1690 victory at the Battle of the Boyne by King William of Orange. Loyal Orange Lodges of Ireland parade with marching bands to celebrate the date and the Protestant faith. The return parade past the Nationalist Ardoyne shops in north Belfast is blocked by a parades commission. Loyalist clash with police on Woodvale Road as they are stopped from parading any further.
12th July celebrations take place across Northern Ireland to commemorate the 1690 victory at the Battle of the Boyne by King William of Orange. Loyal Orange Lodges of Ireland parade with marching bands to celebrate the date and the Protestant faith. The return parade past the Nationalist Ardoyne shops in north Belfast is blocked by a parades commission. Loyalist clash with police on Woodvale Road as they are stopped from parading any further.
12th July celebrations take place across Northern Ireland to commemorate the 1690 victory at the Battle of the Boyne by King William of Orange. Loyal Orange Lodges of Ireland parade with marching bands to celebrate the date and the Protestant faith. The return parade past the Nationalist Ardoyne shops in north Belfast is blocked by a parades commission. A Loyalist at police lines on Woodvale Road where the parade was stopped from going any further.
12th July celebrations take place across Northern Ireland to commemorate the 1690 victory at the Battle of the Boyne by King William of Orange. Loyal Orange Lodges of Ireland parade with marching bands to celebrate the date and the Protestant faith. The return parade past the Nationalist Ardoyne shops in north Belfast is blocked by a parades commission. Loyalist clash with police on Woodvale Road as they are stopped from parading any further.
12th July celebrations take place across Northern Ireland to commemorate the 1690 victory at the Battle of the Boyne by King William of Orange. Loyal Orange Lodges of Ireland parade with marching bands to celebrate the date and the Protestant faith. The return parade past the Nationalist Ardoyne shops in north Belfast is blocked by a parades commission. Loyalist clash with police on Woodvale Road as they are stopped from parading any further.
12th July celebrations take place across Northern Ireland to commemorate the 1690 victory at the Battle of the Boyne by King William of Orange. Loyal Orange Lodges of Ireland parade with marching bands to celebrate the date and the Protestant faith. The return parade past the Nationalist Ardoyne shops in north Belfast is blocked by a parades commission. An injured officer is taken away as Loyalist clash with police on Woodvale Road as they are stopped from parading any further.
12th July celebrations take place across Northern Ireland to commemorate the 1690 victory at the Battle of the Boyne by King William of Orange. Loyal Orange Lodges of Ireland parade with marching bands to celebrate the date and the Protestant faith. The return parade past the Nationalist Ardoyne shops in north Belfast is blocked by a parades commission. Loyalist clash with police on Woodvale Road as they are stopped from parading any further.
PACEMAKER BELFAST 12/07/2013 Water cannon have been used in north Belfast after bricks and bottles were thrown in a sustained attack on police Land Rovers in the Woodvale area of Belfast . The attack came as police enforced a Parades Commission ruling. The ruling stops Orange Order lodges from walking on a stretch of road in north Belfast that separates loyalist and nationalist communities. Picture By: Arthur Allison/Pacemaker Press
PACEMAKER BELFAST 12/07/2013 Water cannon have been used in north Belfast after bricks and bottles were thrown in a sustained attack on police Land Rovers in the Woodvale area of Belfast . The attack came as police enforced a Parades Commission ruling. The ruling stops Orange Order lodges from walking on a stretch of road in north Belfast that separates loyalist and nationalist communities. Picture By: Arthur Allison/Pacemaker Press
PACEMAKER BELFAST 12/07/2013 Water cannon have been used in north Belfast after bricks and bottles were thrown in a sustained attack on police Land Rovers in the Woodvale area of Belfast . The attack came as police enforced a Parades Commission ruling. The ruling stops Orange Order lodges from walking on a stretch of road in north Belfast that separates loyalist and nationalist communities. Picture By: Arthur Allison/Pacemaker Press
PACEMAKER BELFAST 12/07/2013 Water cannon have been used in north Belfast after bricks and bottles were thrown in a sustained attack on police Land Rovers in the Woodvale area of Belfast . The attack came as police enforced a Parades Commission ruling. The ruling stops Orange Order lodges from walking on a stretch of road in north Belfast that separates loyalist and nationalist communities. Picture By: Arthur Allison/Pacemaker Press
PACEMAKER BELFAST 12/07/2013 Water cannon have been used in north Belfast after bricks and bottles were thrown in a sustained attack on police Land Rovers in the Woodvale area of Belfast . The attack came as police enforced a Parades Commission ruling. The ruling stops Orange Order lodges from walking on a stretch of road in north Belfast that separates loyalist and nationalist communities. Picture By: Arthur Allison/Pacemaker Press
PACEMAKER BELFAST 12/07/2013 Water cannon have been used in north Belfast after bricks and bottles were thrown in a sustained attack on police Land Rovers in the Woodvale area of Belfast . The attack came as police enforced a Parades Commission ruling. The ruling stops Orange Order lodges from walking on a stretch of road in north Belfast that separates loyalist and nationalist communities. Picture By: Arthur Allison/Pacemaker Press
12th July celebrations take place across Northern Ireland to commemorate the 1690 victory at the Battle of the Boyne by King William of Orange. Loyal Orange Lodges of Ireland parade with marching bands to celebrate the date and the Protestant faith. The return parade past the Nationalist Ardoyne shops in north Belfast is blocked by a parades commission. Loyalist clash with police on Woodvale Road as they are stopped from parading any further.
12th July celebrations take place across Northern Ireland to commemorate the 1690 victory at the Battle of the Boyne by King William of Orange. Loyal Orange Lodges of Ireland parade with marching bands to celebrate the date and the Protestant faith. The return parade past the Nationalist Ardoyne shops in north Belfast is blocked by a parades commission. A Loyalist at police lines on Woodvale Road where the parade was stopped from going any further.
PACEMAKER BELFAST 12/07/2013 Water cannon have been used in north Belfast after bricks and bottles were thrown in a sustained attack on police Land Rovers in the Woodvale area of Belfast . The attack came as police enforced a Parades Commission ruling. The ruling stops Orange Order lodges from walking on a stretch of road in north Belfast that separates loyalist and nationalist communities. Picture By: Arthur Allison/Pacemaker Press
PACEMAKER BELFAST 12/07/2013 Water cannon have been used in north Belfast after bricks and bottles were thrown in a sustained attack on police Land Rovers in the Woodvale area of Belfast . The attack came as police enforced a Parades Commission ruling. The ruling stops Orange Order lodges from walking on a stretch of road in north Belfast that separates loyalist and nationalist communities. Picture By: Arthur Allison/Pacemaker Press
PACEMAKER BELFAST 12/07/2013 Water cannon have been used in north Belfast after bricks and bottles were thrown in a sustained attack on police Land Rovers in the Woodvale area of Belfast . The attack came as police enforced a Parades Commission ruling. The ruling stops Orange Order lodges from walking on a stretch of road in north Belfast that separates loyalist and nationalist communities. Picture By: Arthur Allison/Pacemaker Press
PACEMAKER BELFAST 12/07/2013 Water cannon have been used in north Belfast after bricks and bottles were thrown in a sustained attack on police Land Rovers in the Woodvale area of Belfast . The attack came as police enforced a Parades Commission ruling. The ruling stops Orange Order lodges from walking on a stretch of road in north Belfast that separates loyalist and nationalist communities. Picture By: Arthur Allison/Pacemaker Press
PACEMAKER BELFAST 12/07/2013 Water cannon have been used in north Belfast after bricks and bottles were thrown in a sustained attack on police Land Rovers in the Woodvale area of Belfast . The attack came as police enforced a Parades Commission ruling. The ruling stops Orange Order lodges from walking on a stretch of road in north Belfast that separates loyalist and nationalist communities. Picture By: Arthur Allison/Pacemaker Press
PACEMAKER BELFAST 12/07/2013 Water cannon have been used in north Belfast after bricks and bottles were thrown in a sustained attack on police Land Rovers in the Woodvale area of Belfast . The attack came as police enforced a Parades Commission ruling. The ruling stops Orange Order lodges from walking on a stretch of road in north Belfast that separates loyalist and nationalist communities. Picture By: Arthur Allison/Pacemaker Press
PACEMAKER BELFAST 12/07/2013 Water cannon have been used in north Belfast after bricks and bottles were thrown in a sustained attack on police Land Rovers in the Woodvale area of Belfast . The attack came as police enforced a Parades Commission ruling. The ruling stops Orange Order lodges from walking on a stretch of road in north Belfast that separates loyalist and nationalist communities. Picture By: Arthur Allison/Pacemaker Press
PACEMAKER BELFAST 12/07/2013 Water cannon have been used in north Belfast after bricks and bottles were thrown in a sustained attack on police Land Rovers in the Woodvale area of Belfast . The attack came as police enforced a Parades Commission ruling. The ruling stops Orange Order lodges from walking on a stretch of road in north Belfast that separates loyalist and nationalist communities. Picture By: Arthur Allison/Pacemaker Press
PACEMAKER BELFAST 12/07/2013 Water cannon have been used in north Belfast after bricks and bottles were thrown in a sustained attack on police Land Rovers in the Woodvale area of Belfast . The attack came as police enforced a Parades Commission ruling. The ruling stops Orange Order lodges from walking on a stretch of road in north Belfast that separates loyalist and nationalist communities. Picture By: Arthur Allison/Pacemaker Press
A man is injured and taken away in a police landrover at the junction of Fedrick street and York Road in Belfast as tensions run hight between loyalists and Police on the 12th evening. PICTURE STEVEN MCAULEY/KEVIN MCAULEY MCAULEY PHOTOGRAPHY MULTIMEDIA
A man is injured and taken away in a police landrover at the junction of Fedrick street and York Road in Belfast as tensions run hight between loyalists and Police on the 12th evening. PICTURE STEVEN MCAULEY/KEVIN MCAULEY MCAULEY PHOTOGRAPHY MULTIMEDIA
PACEMAKER BELFAST 12/07/2013 Water cannon have been used in north Belfast after bricks and bottles were thrown in a sustained attack on police Land Rovers in the Woodvale area of Belfast . The attack came as police enforced a Parades Commission ruling. . At least two police officers have been injured. The ruling stops Orange Order lodges from walking on a stretch of road in north Belfast that separates loyalist and nationalist communities. Picture By: Arthur Allison/Pacemaker Press
PACEMAKER BELFAST 12/07/2013 Water cannon have been used in north Belfast after bricks and bottles were thrown in a sustained attack on police Land Rovers in the Woodvale area of Belfast . The attack came as police enforced a Parades Commission ruling. . At least two police officers have been injured. The ruling stops Orange Order lodges from walking on a stretch of road in north Belfast that separates loyalist and nationalist communities. Picture By: Arthur Allison/Pacemaker Press
Loyalist bandsmen and Orangemen pictured in the Woodvale area of west belfast with officers from the PSNI after the Parades Commission ruled that marchers are not allowed to return along the part of the Crumlin Road, at Ardoyne shops, that separates nationalist and loyalist communities.
Loyalist bandsmen and Orangemen pictured in the Woodvale area of west belfast with officers from the PSNI after the Parades Commission ruled that marchers are not allowed to return along the part of the Crumlin Road, at Ardoyne shops, that separates nationalist and loyalist communities.
Loyalist bandsmen and Orangemen pictured in the Woodvale area of west belfast with officers from the PSNI after the Parades Commission ruled that marchers are not allowed to return along the part of the Crumlin Road, at Ardoyne shops, that separates nationalist and loyalist communities.
Loyalist bandsmen and Orangemen pictured in the Woodvale area of west belfast with officers from the PSNI after the Parades Commission ruled that marchers are not allowed to return along the part of the Crumlin Road, at Ardoyne shops, that separates nationalist and loyalist communities.
A policeman is injured in disturbances with loyalists.
A policeman is injured in disturbances with loyalists.
A policeman is injured in disturbances with loyalists.
Loyalists clash with police on Woodvale Road as they are stopped from parading any further. A loyalist uses a captured police baton on police lines.
12.07.13. PICTURE BY DAVID FITZGERALD Riots kick off at Woodvale as the parades are not allowed to pass Ardoyne.
A total of 32 police officers were injured in violence in Belfast on Friday
Police officer is injured in north Belfast, after an Orange July 12 parade was stopped from passing a Nationalist area. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Friday July 12, 2013. See PA story ULSTER Parades. Photo credit should read: Paul Faith/PA Wire

The political parties meeting tomorrow at Stormont need to ask searching questions of themselves and the communities they serve.

This is not a time for trading more insults across the sectarian divide, but to renew the search for solutions within each community to the fractious issue of flags, emblems and parades.

Somewhat lost or forgotten in the noise of rioting over the Twelfth was the news last week that the former US envoy Dr Richard Haass has been appointed to chair all-party talks and to try and find answers by Christmas.

He has his work cut out for him. He will have to focus minds long before the next marching season and not leave negotiations to the eleventh hour as happened with the Orange Order last week in advance of the disputed Ardoyne parade.

There were two Northern Irelands on display over the Twelfth. The first was inhabited by the great majority of people basking in the summer sunshine by the sea and in the countryside, and, yes, attending the many peaceful Orange Order demonstrations across the province of Ulster, including Donegal.

Then we had the other Northern Ireland on our television screens, as if on a different planet in riot-torn streets of north and east Belfast where people once again lost the run of themselves.

The riots beg several questions for the population at large exasperated by the senselessness of what happened in Belfast.

How much longer can the new Northern Ireland watch powerlessly as a mob of unruly citizens in north and east Belfast dictate such a destructive image of our society, driving people and investment away from our shores?

The long-suffering wider public are surely entitled to say to the Stormont Executive and to unionist leaders and the Orange Order: enough is enough. The world neither begins nor ends at the bottom of the Newtownards Road or in Short Strand, or around a block of shops at Ardoyne yet that too often seems to be the case.

Last year it was republicans. This year it was so-called loyalists. The mobs mouth different slogans but their motivation is the same and mirrored in their madness to cause as much trouble as possible. The police can only hold the line while the Parades Commission is caught in a tangled web of sectarianism, unwanted by some, commended by others, but generally in an increasingly impossible position.

The weight of responsibility for the weekend events must rest on the shoulders of unionist politicians and the Orange Order chiefs who called for protests but had no idea how to put the genie back in the bottle when it escaped.

Why did it take the Orange Order until a week before the Twelfth to engage with nationalist residents in north Belfast? How come Londonderry could host a major Orange parade in a predominantly nationalist city without the need for any Parades Commission intervention? Why have the Apprentice Boys of Derry developed a much improved relationship in that same city in recent years while the Orange leadership in Belfast continues to stumble over itself?

Why did the Orange Order reject the proposals of the politicians at Stormont, not least the Democratic Unionist party, for an alternative to the Parades Commission? Only the politicians at Stormont, certainly not the Secretary of State nor the Chief Constable, can resolve the remaining disputes over a handful of contentious parades.

The Twelfth is a great celebration of deep-rooted cultural and social tradition, a street pageant unique in Europe for its music and colour, a day of relaxation and enjoyment for many tens of thousands of people, and with enormous tourist potential.

The challenge to nationalists and republicans is still to come to terms with the culture of Orangeism. The Twelfth in Derry was a glowing example of how tolerance can be fostered in even the most difficult and divided of cities. The Twelfth night in north and east Belfast was the very antithesis of what people of all classes, creeds and political persuasion need for their futures.

The main unionist parties must persuade the Orange Order chieftains, particularly in Belfast, to reach a constructive conclusion on how to deal with contentious parades.

Assuming they cannot tolerate the existing Parades Commission, what have they in mind to replace it? Let's see a proposal which has a chance of winning cross-community respect and let's see real engagement, not at the last minute but with some urgency and with a view to a solution before Christmas.

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