There’s a lot of coverage of today’s “worthwhile” meeting between Sinn Féin president Gerry Adams and the North and West Belfast Parades [and Culture] Forum. Not that the North and West Belfast Parades Forum haven’t met others before.
And as the UTV report notes
Forum spokesman Tommy Cheevers said the mood of the meeting was “business-like.”
“This is not about negotiating over individual parades but about finding a way forward.”
When asked if Sinn Fein should be “prepared to compromise” on the parades issue, Mr Cheevers said: “they will have to, that’s a challenge for them.”
That might be what he was talking about in this 23 July Belfast Telegraph report
Senior north Belfast Apprentice Boy Tommy Cheevers described Mr Adams’ call as a “joke”.
He said he had made numerous efforts to engage with republicans to resolve the issue in past years but each time they refused to compromise.
Noting the variety of different residents and interest groups in Ardoyne, Mr Cheevers said dialogue would only be possible this year if the Ardoyne community could present an agreed position to the Apprentice Boys.
“At the end of the day there has to be a realisation from republicans that they don’t own the road,” he said.
Apparently they’re planning to meet again in September…
And one line from UTV’s Ken Reid’s blog really jumps out
Both sides seemingly determined to make sure a repeat of the July 12 riots at Ardoyne can be avoided.
Both groups said the talks were not about individual parades but to plot a way forward.
The Apprentice Boys are due to parade past the Ardoyne shops on August 14 but there is no plan for a return in the evening.
Dissident republicans have been active in the Ardoyne and the loyalists say they are keen to know if Sinn Fein can control the area. [added emphasis]
Sinn Féin’s response to that particular question doesn’t seem to have been reported anywhere…
Here’s a thought, maybe we won’t need that Public Assemblies, Parades and Protests Bill after all!