Belfast Telegraph

Sinn Fein call on Orange Lodge to withdraw application to parade in north Belfast

Sinn Fein has called on a new Orange Lodge to withdraw their application to parade through a mixed area of north Belfast.

A Sinn Fein delegation led by MLA Gerry Kelly met the Parades Commission on Wednesday to object to the application.

Speaking after the meeting, Mr Kelly said that there had been a number of objections to the parade from residents in the area.

“We made​ the Parades Commission ​aware that the parade applied for was very contentious as it ran through a mixed residential area and there have already been a significant number of objections from residents," the North Belfast MLA said.

“There has never been an Orange parade in this area and we have received several calls and emails from residents worried ​and angered ​by this development. It is a mixed area and clearly this application would create tensions if approved.

 “The erection of unionist flags over recent days in Roscoole Park, Mountcoole Park, Kilcoole Park​ and Duncoole Park was clearly ​a ​precursor to this application and an attempt to mark out territory.

Mr Kelly called on those behind the march to withdraw their application in the interests of community relations.

“That is wrong and only serves to intimidate residents and create flashpoints were there hasn't​ been any before," he said."​I urge those involved not to go ahead with their planned march​ out of respect for community relations. The last thing North Belfast needs is another contentious parade.

The Belfast Telegraph has contacted the Grand Orange Lodge of Ireland for a response to Mr Kelly's comments.

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