Belfast Telegraph

Concerns voiced in mixed Belfast area over loyalist parade plan

Concerns: Caral Ni Chuilin
Concerns: Caral Ni Chuilin
Mark Bain

By Mark Bain

A move by an Orange lodge in north Belfast to calm fears over a parade planned for a few days before the Twelfth looks to have backfired.

Flyers containing details of the parade, which goes to the home of the "incoming Master" of the Cavehill Temperance Lodge, were put through doors in Kilcoole on Monday night.

But that has prompted some residents of the mixed area to voice concerns, claiming the parade is being orchestrated to cause division in the area.

The flyer claims Cavehill Temperance will hold a "floating of the banner" parade to deliver a banner to the head of the lodge a few days before the Twelfth demonstrations.

It is signed by Ron McDowell of the Cavehill Temperance Lodge and sets out its reasons for wanting to hold it.

The flyer reads: "...but is also worth saying that in a lodge the size of ours (some 49 members) this only occurs once in a lifetime... it is a prestigious occasion where everyone rallies round providing sandwiches, chairs etc for lodge members to ensure a festive atmosphere.

"To those who have objected to this parade we would say we have listened to your concerns as best relayed to us and have attempted to address the same.

"Moreover, we have already as of today (June 19) in response to those concerns voluntarily rerouted our parade to the shortest route possible and a route which we would hope will gain general acceptance."

The Orange Order said it will not be commenting until objections to the planned parade have been heard.

Residents in the Kilcoole area are claiming there has never been a parade of this type before and feel this is a deliberate attempt to create a new contentious parade.

Sinn Fein MLA Caral Ni Chuilin said: "Sinn Fein has met with residents from Kilcoole, Mountcoole, Duncoole and Roscoole who come from right across the community.

"Residents are concerned about this parade and the loyalist flags recently erected in their streets without any consultation with those living in what is a mixed community. They feel vulnerable and worried and they want to maintain the good relations which people have enjoyed for many years in this area.

"Sinn Fein will continue to meet with the residents and with the Parades Commission and we will work with everyone involved to a resolution of the residents' concerns."

The route is still under consideration by the Parades Commission.

Belfast Telegraph


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