Belfast Telegraph

Parades Commission bans return parade past Ardoyne on Twelfth

By Claire Cromie

The Parades Commission has banned the contentious return Orange Order parade past Ardoyne on 12 July.

In what has been described as a "nuclear option" scenario, the commission has ruled the feeder parade cannot march past Ardoyne shops on the Crumlin Road on Friday evening.

It had already ruled that the outward parade on the morning of the Twelfth is to be silent - with no music, drumming, singing, chanting, whistling or humming allowed.

The latest determination follows two days of intensive discussions between the Orange Order, nationalist residents, politicians and other community leaders, which ended on Sunday evening without resolution.

It was the first time the Orange Order had agreed to meet a residents' group from the area which has seen serious rioting during previous parades.

In recent years police officers have been pelted with petrol bombs, bricks and bottles while trying to keep the peace following the annual Orange Order demonstration past Ardoyne. Shots have also been fired and last year an explosive device was also hurled towards police lines.

Crumlin Ardoyne Residents Association spokesman Joe Marley has appealed for calm and said it was "unfortunate the talks came so late in the day".

"There was consensus from all those participating in the talks that this Twelfth should be peaceful irrespective of the Parades Commission determination," he said.

"We are calling on all relevant stakeholders to use their influence in a common effort to defuse tensions."

PUP spokesman Winston Irvine has said the possibility of a no return march "would be a disaster".

He said the local Orange lodges had "stretched themselves last year" by agreeing to come back early from the field.

DUP councillor and former Lord Mayor of Belfast Gavin Robinson tweeted on Tuesday evening: "A shared future has to include the orange order and bands. It does not have to include an illogical arbitrator. Parades Commission must go."

Belfast Telegraph Digital

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