Belfast Telegraph

Parades: Decision on contentious Orange Order march in Ardoyne area of north Belfast is deferred

By John Mulgrew

A decision on whether to allow an Orange Order march past a contentious flashpoint in north Belfast has been deferred by the Parades Commission.

The commission said it will postpone its decision to allow further talks to take place this weekend.

The new five-member panel is facing a crunch decision this week, over whether to allow bandsmen to complete the march.

The return leg of the parade along a route that passes Ardoyne has been blocked since the Twelfth last year.

Violence flared in the unionist Woodvale area last summer after bandsmen were stopped from marching past the adjacent nationalist Ardoyne on their way home from the annual commemorations.

As a result, serious rioting broke out on a number of days.

The policing bill ended up topping £9 million, with a permanent protest camp set up since then.

Three Ligoniel Lodges have now applied to complete their march on the morning of Saturday, June 7.

On Thursday, a spokesman for the Parades Commission said:

"The Commission has received representations, some in support of and some objecting to, the proposed parade by the Ligoneil Combine on June 7.

"The Commission, however, has also been made aware of an initiative involving church leaders to facilitate local discussions this weekend.

"As the Commission believes that local accommodation is the best way to resolve sensitive parading issues, it has agreed to convene next Tuesday, June3, to consider any further representations."

Further reading

Loyalist Twaddell protest camp policing bill tops £9 million: 10-month operation in north Belfast

Orange Order makes 'last push' to complete Ardoyne parade

Parties must not pass up window of opportunity to do deal for Northern Ireland 

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