Belfast Telegraph

Orangemen should be careful about what they wish for

By Liam Clarke

What would happen if there was no Parades Commission, as the Orange Order proposes?

We can get a glimpse from looking at the situation in Glasgow, which has a strong parading tradition and where the council publishes a code of conduct on its website.

There, processions must not impact negatively on residents; they can't play music in the evenings; and they must march four abreast and leave gaps for people and traffic to pass.

Likely policing costs can also be crucial in deciding whether to allow a parade to proceed along its chosen route or not. That is far more restrictive than anything that applies here.

Marching down the middle of the street, especially in business or residential areas, is something that is forbidden by law in most circumstances and the Parades Commission is a means of making it permissible.

The difficulty in agreeing something else was shown in 2010, when the DUP and Sinn Fein thought they had an agreement worked out – only to have the loyal orders and other bodies reject it at the last minute. The loyal orders would prefer a solution which would allow an automatic right to parade, but that won't be forthcoming.

So Peter Osborne, the Parades Commission chair, is probably right in predicting that parades will continue to be notified this summer.

That is still the best option on offer.

Belfast Telegraph

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