Feeder parades slapped with ban
The decision by the Parades Commission to ban two feeder parades passing a contentious route in north Belfast this Friday has been welcomed by nationalist politicians.
The Parades Commission has restricted parades by the Earl of Erne LOL 647 and the Ligoniel True Blues from passing the Crumlin Road at the Ardoyne shops as part of the Tour of the North parade.
The parade has been marred by trouble in recent years.
SDLP north Belfast Councillor Nichola Mallon said she welcomed the determination.
She said: “There must be recognition and appreciation of the public commitment from both communities to find progress to contentious parades through ongoing dialogue at a local level.
“This decision provides the breathing space for this vital dialogue to continue.”
Sinn Fein’s north Belfast MLA Gerry Kelly welcomed the Parades Commission ruling: “This application to march was upping the ante and given the Tour Of the North sets the context for the rest of the marching season — common sense in this case has prevailed.
“Residents have been pushing for dialogue since the previous marching season and the ‘North and West’ as usual only made a late attempt to engage.
“The issue of Orange marches can only be resolved through dialogue between residents and those wishing to parade through areas such as this.”
Commission chair Rena Shepherd said: “Where there is no agreement on a parade |the Commission is forced to intervene.
“In those circumstances it is inevitable that some people will be unhappy at the outcome, but this determination represents our best efforts to balance the rights of the residents of Ardoyne and those who wish to parade.
“We met with political and community representatives from both sides as well as the police. It is very clear to the Commission that there are genuinely held views on both sides when it comes to parades past this contentious area.
“There is also a willingness on all sides to enter a dialogue.”