News Letter report on the refusal to allow a small number of returning Orange lodges to walk past Ardoyne…
Despite ground-breaking talks between the Orange Order and a nationalist residents group at the weekend, the Parades Commission has taken the unprecedented step of preventing the three Orange lodges passing along a stretch of the Crumlin Road on their way home from the Belfast demonstration.
In a ruling published on Tuesday night, the commission said the morning feeder parade could proceed with a maximum of 100 supporters along that stretch of the Crumlin Road, but the return parade could not walk the 800m section of the road between Woodvale and the Hesketh Road junction.
Nationalist youths attacked police lines with fireworks and petrol bombs following last year’s parade along the route by the three Orange lodges from the Ligoniel area.
Two nationalist residents’ groups from Ardoyne have notified the police of their intention to hold protests against this year’s parade. The Parades Commission has permitted a maximum of 60 Greater Ardoyne Residents’ Collective (GARC) protesters and 150 from the Crumlin Ardoyne Residents’ Association (CARA).
So that’s more than two to one ratio of protestors to paraders in the morning… Unsurprisingly, there is some unhappiness amongst unionists… We await to whether it has the desired affect in public order…
“By contrast, republicans engaged in heavy rioting at Ardoyne last July culminating in a murderous machine gun attack against police officers,” they said.
“At a subsequent parade dissident republicans again fired shots in Ardoyne.
“Yet the Parades Commission has clearly not taken proper and full account of preceding events both last year and this.
Mick is founding editor of Slugger. He has written papers on the impacts of the Internet on politics and the wider media and is a regular guest and speaking events across Ireland, the UK and Europe. Twitter: @MickFealty