Belfast Telegraph

Orangemen urged to end parade bid

Orangemen have been urged by the British and Irish governments to reconsider making repeated bids for a parade along a contentious stretch of road.

Theresa Villiers, Secretary of State for Northern Ireland, urged the Orange Order to think carefully about continual applications for a march past the nationalist Ardoyne area of north Belfast.

The Parades Commission adjudication body rejected two separate proposals for the demonstration on each of the next two Saturdays.

Ms Villiers said: "I think it's important for all protests to be peaceful and lawful. I think that the Orange Order need to reflect carefully on whether they should persist in calling for these parades to take place every Saturday. They need to be very cautious because the situation remains tense."

Ms Villiers was in Dublin for talks with Tanaiste and Minister for Foreign Affairs Eamon Gilmore, who supported her calls.

"I think there is a responsibility on the Orange Order to think about taking people onto the streets in a situation where tensions are already very high," Mr Gilmore said.

There were five successive nights of loyalist violence after a number of Orange lodges were first prevented from parading the Ardoyne route at the end of traditional Twelfth of July Orange Order commemorations earlier this month.

A ban on a second application to parade the same route last weekend resulted in a peaceful protest by Orangemen and their supporters on the Woodvale Road. Police came under attack following the Twelfth after enforcing the Parades Commission ruling. More protests are expected this weekend.

Orangemen have vowed to keep applying for permission to march the route until they are successful, insisting the original parade will not be deemed to be finished until the route is complete.

The latest Parades Commission determinations stated concerns that if the parades were allowed to proceed along the entirety of their routes there would be an "adverse effect on community relations and a potential for public disorder". Last year, republicans rioted in Ardoyne when the Orange lodges were permitted to parade on Crumlin Road as they returned from Twelfth events.


From Belfast Telegraph