Belfast Telegraph

Parades Commission Cavehill Twelfth march ban 'ludicrous,' says UUP councillor

The Cavehill Temperance LOL 1956 has been prevented from marching or assembling on any part of Cavehill Road in north Belfast.
The Cavehill Temperance LOL 1956 has been prevented from marching or assembling on any part of Cavehill Road in north Belfast.

By Eimear McGovern

A decision by the Parades Commission to prohibit a lodge from walking on part of the Cavehill Road on the Twelfth morning has been criticised as "ludicrous".

Following a decision by the Commission, the Cavehill Temperance LOL 1956 has been prevented from marching or assembling on any part of the road in north Belfast.

In its determination the commission said the parade could assemble on the Westland Road at its junction with the Cavehill Road and proceed along Westland Road to the Westland Way junction.

In 2018, the parade prompted concern among residents of the mixed area to voice concerns, claiming the parade is being orchestrated to cause division in the area.

In its determination, the Parades Commission said it was feared allowing the lodge to march on the road would upset the "finely balanced community relations in the area".

"The Commission has considered the lodge's offer of dialogue, but has also taken account of residents' fears that the parade is 'an attempt to intimidate residents on this stretch of road'," it said.

Seventy participants are expected to take place in the parade, along with the Harthill Loyalists Flute Band.

The Ulster Unionist Councillor Robert Foster described decision as "nothing short of ludicrous".

"Has the Parades Commission now deemed the Cavehill Road to be a nationalist area?" he said.

"It is very hard to share a future if you are denied the right to express your culture in shared areas.

"If the Parades Commission wants to restrict expressions of Orange culture to totally unionist areas then they need to come and say so, because the creation of ghettos runs contrary to the concept of a shared future and the Government policy of building a united community," said the Newtownabbey councillor.    

"A shared future – by any reasonable definition - means that Orange Parades should be facilitated not prevented. The Orange Order is part of the rich history of Belfast, and the fact the Parades Commission cannot accept that, is just another reason why its abolition cannot come soon enough.”

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