Belfast Telegraph

Theresa Villiers pushed for decision on parade inquiry

By Claire Williamson

Unionists have put pressure on the Secretary of State to give her decision on the setting up of a legal inquiry into marching issues – as they vow to continue their campaign over a north Belfast parade.

It comes as part of their "graduated response", which was announced ahead of the Twelfth of July this year.

Unionist leaders and Orange Order officials united after the Parades Commission ruled that Ligoniel Orange Lodge would not make the contentious return parade past the Ardoyne shops.

They called for Theresa Villiers to set up a legal inquiry into the north Belfast parading issues.

Yesterday a joint statement from the Orange Order, DUP, UUP, TUV, Ukip, PUP and UPRG West Belfast said an "answer is required".

It said: "When the graduated response was announced it was stated what would shape the next steps: 'The response of the Secretary of State to the positive proposal of this Commission of Inquiry will dictate the nature and timing of those actions'.

"Unionism has displayed patience since then but if the commission is to complete its work in 2014 an answer is required.

"We regret that there has not been a more responsible and positive response from the nationalist/republican leadership. They should not fear attempts to resolve difficult disputes."

They said they would take the campaign to each "Council, the Assembly, Parliament and the European Parliament".

"Unionism remains united in its commitment to the Ligoniel brethren and bands. Unionism remains united in its commitment to the Ligoniel brethren and bands. The political and community campaign will continue until they are able to exercise the basic right of parading to and from their local Orange hall," it added.

Belfast Telegraph


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