| 18.2°C Belfast

Restrictions imposed on Belfast parade planned for mixed neighbourhood

Close

The Parades Commission has imposed restrictions on a loyalist march in north Belfast despite organisers saying it would be "a community event for the children in the area to cheer everyone up after the Covid-19 pandemic"

The Parades Commission has imposed restrictions on a loyalist march in north Belfast despite organisers saying it would be "a community event for the children in the area to cheer everyone up after the Covid-19 pandemic"

The Parades Commission has imposed restrictions on a loyalist march in north Belfast despite organisers saying it would be "a community event for the children in the area to cheer everyone up after the Covid-19 pandemic"

The Parades Commission has imposed restrictions on a loyalist march in north Belfast despite organisers saying it would be "a community event for the children in the area to cheer everyone up after the Covid-19 pandemic".

Kilcoole Community Band had notified the watchdog of its intention to parade in the area as part of traditional Eleventh Night celebrations with 30 members, in accordance with the current health regulations.

But in its determination the commission explained the proposed route was put forward by a new organiser "in the sensitive parading area" and is opposed by members of the mixed neighbourhood.

"This is a new parade into Kilcoole Gardens and Kilcoole Park by Kilcoole Community Band," it said.

"The commission has no record of the notified band, Kilcoole Community Band, nor of parades organised by it."

It concluded that this "may heighten community tensions and disrupt community life".

"The notified route is a parading area with a history of sensitive parades, at Kilcoole Park and Kilcoole Gardens.

"The commission has previously received substantial objections to loyalist parades in this mixed residential area."

It noted the parade organiser had said residents "support his parade on the 11th night, which will be a community event for the children in the area to cheer everyone up after the Covid-19 pandemic".

The organiser also stated that the parading route is "within a Protestant area" and that he was unaware of any issues surrounding parades in Kilcoole Gardens and Kilcoole Park.

However, Saturday night's 30-minute parade has been prohibited from processing on any part of its notified route and has instead been ordered to proceed along the Ballysillan Road.

The parade is one of a number to have been so far categorised as "sensitive" by the commission, which was informed last month by the Attorney General that it had no legal powers to prevent parades from taking place.

As the Twelfth falls on a Sunday this year, official demonstrations were due to take place the next day.

However, the Orange Order announced in April it would not hold demonstrations due to the pandemic.

More than 260 loyalist bands have made notifications to parade between July 11 and 13.

Belfast Telegraph