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Tweed and his LOL lose appeal over parade ban

A former Irish rugby international has lost his appeal against restrictions imposed on an Orange Order march through a Co Antrim village nearly five years ago.

David Tweed and other members of Dunloy LOL 496 were challenging the dismissal of a judicial review case they brought over determinations by the Parades Commission.

Mr Tweed had claimed restrictions placed on an Easter Sunday procession in April 2004 — which banned lodge members from walking 500 yards from their Orange hall to attend a church service and back again — contravened the lodge members’ human rights.

His case was rejected by a High Court judge who held that the Parades Commission had not acted in a disproportionate manner.

Claims that the body’s failure to give reasons for its ruling amounted to procedural unfairness also failed.

And yesterday, the Court of Appeal backed the assessment, with Lord Justice Sir Anthony Campbell declaring that the Commission had more than adequately fulfilled the obligation to provide a summary of grounds for its decision.

Sir Anthony pointed out the long history of restrictions on processions in Dunloy stretching back over 27 determinations.

He said the appellants were familiar with the situation, adding: “Their failure to request a summary of the information or to ask for disclosure of material inevitably detracts from their argument.”

Sir Anthony also stated: “In the circumstances, I cannot discern any unfairness bearing in mind that this is not litigation between parties.”

The case began in 2004 when Mr Tweed obtained a court order for discovery of documents on which the Parades Commission based its decision to ban the lodge from the walk.

It was argued that if reports on community relations in Dunloy — which were compiled by police and other sources — had been made available at the outset, lodge members could have presented a proportional analysis to try to persuade the Commission that restrictions were unnecessary as public disorder would not break out.

Sir Anthony, who was backed by Lord Justices Higgins and Girvan, stated that the authority was not empowered to ban the procession — nor did it attempt to.

Belfast Telegraph

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