Belfast Telegraph

The Twelfth: Nationalist talks over Ardoyne parade 'unsuccessful'

By John Mulgrew

Nationalist residents have said they have failed to reach a resolution during talks with the Orange Order ahead of Twelfth of July parades in north Belfast this week.

Joe Marley of the Crumlin Ardoyne Residents Association (CARA) said in a statement it was "unfortunate" talks with the Order "came so late in the day".

"There was consensus from all those participating in the talks that this 12th 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."

The Ardoyne area of north Belfast has become an annual flashpoint for violence during the Twelfth parades with serious disorder flaring in the last few years.

Last year a number of police officers were injured after trouble flared nearby a parade route, with crowds of several hundred confronting lines of riot officers.

A spokesman for CARA said that "while we were unable to secure a resolution with regards to this Friday, we remain committed and hopeful to re-engage with local lodges".

The County Grand Orange Lodge of Belfast said it believed that "all steps possible" had been taken by the organisation to "ensure a peaceful Twelfth".

"The talks, which were lengthy and lasted over two days, were comprehensive and frank," it said in a statement.

"The local Lodges explained their position with regard to the parade along the Crumlin Road on the Twelfth morning and evening.

"Those present also articulated the interests of the local unionist community and discussed issues expressed by nationalist residents, as the delegation sought to understand why the parade was opposed.

"The local Lodges are willing to continue with the engagement should it be helpful to address genuine issues and concerns."

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