Has the underplating of local power shifted through the pre 12th talks over Ardoyne?

I think Brian Rowan is on to something potentially significant here:

In 2013 Ardoyne is not a new headline or a new problem. It has been with us for years, not something that grew out of the story of the dissidents.

I reported from there when plastic bullets were fired as if they were two a penny and when police officers on the frontline fell under a barrage of bricks, bottles, petrol bombs and anything else the crowd could get its hands on; when mainstream republicans were pulling the strings.

So, this was a place of parading and protest long before the Greater Ardoyne Residents Coalition (GARC) arrived. They were not part of the weekend dialogue. [emphasis added]

He continues:

But there was a risk in this for Cara – a risk that if it got nothing out of the dialogue and the commission’s determination it could be thrown to the wolves.

Remember GARC dismissed the weekend dialogue as “a cynical ploy to dictate a loyalist agenda”. In its opinion, the talks had one purpose; to secure a march both down and up the road this Friday.

Others were also suspicious of the timing of the dialogue – late and very last minute. Was it an attempt to salvage something from a situation in which there was wide speculation that the evening ruling could go against the Orange Order?

There was a big hint of the possibility of such a decision and its consequences at a meeting last Thursday, a follow-up to the recent Cardiff talks.

At that meeting in a Belfast hotel concerns about the possible Twelfth determination were raised by a unionist politician.

Then last Saturday this newspaper reported what one source called the “nuclear option” scenario of no return parade.

That ruling has now been confirmed by the commission.

Make of that what you will…

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

  • Mick Fealty

    Post removed and the gentleman ‘UPC’ has been yellow carded…

  • Morpheus

    Jesus wept, you compare this current situation to 1950s southern USA?

    Can you not get it into your head that times have changed and people need to change with them? Northern Ireland is not the Northern Ireland you would like it to be with unionist domination, nationalist submission and the OO breaking laws with impunity with no repercussions.

    We live in a new age now UPC. Unionism is going from having 100% of the Northern Ireland cake to sharing it 50-50 with their nationalist neighbours. Going from 100% to 50% is scary but what is even more scary, and I fully appreciate this, is seeing the other side go from 0 to 50%.

    It will all balance out in the end at 50-50 but comparing this to 1950s southern America is ludicrous.

  • Morpheus

    Well my post just looks silly now 🙂

  • Ulster Press Centre

    Not sure what the problem with that post is Mick. Care to explain?

  • michael-mcivor

    Cara talked to the Orange Order and seen them walked
    away from the Ardoyne Shops- good enough result-

    Others are left with eggs on their faces-

  • 6crealist

    mcIvor – once again you’ve proved to be the intellectual equal of Ulster [sic] Press [sic] Centre [sic]. Maith thú féin.

  • Comrade Stalin

    I didn’t see UVF Press Centre’s earlier post, but if he was drawing comparisons with the 1950s USA maybe he has a point – the KKK march about and burn things too.

  • DC

    Hi Morpheus

    It’s a strange sort of 50:50 that comes down arguably in favour of just one side.

  • redstar2011

    Some seem to have either deliberately or naively got their facts wrong re GARC .

    Fact- on the ground they have more support than Cara.

    Kelly can of course claim that although hes backing a smaller organisation, his electoral mandate makes Cara the main player.

    Alas as we all know in street politics-a sport SF packed in years ago- its feet on the ground esp at protests that count

  • Comrade Stalin


    It’s a strange sort of 50:50 that comes down arguably in favour of just one side.

    Is that a reference to the fact that of the ~500 parades only a handful have had restrictions passed on them ?

    In Glengormley tomorrow a parade is proceeding down the O’Neill Road despite the objections of the residents at the top whose movements will be restricted for the whole day. What’s this one side you’re talking about ?


    Part of the problem is that people who aren’t elected are doing the negotating. It’s difficult to tell who has support. Neither Winkie Irvine nor GARC have a mandate to represent everyone, yet here they are in the middle of a dispute that could engulf the rest of the country.

  • redstar2011

    DC you are of course correct that GARC are not elected.

    However, and especially in a small close knit community like Ardoyne are we saying that a majority of views on this particular subject should be ignored simply because they dont have a representative in aninstitution that many of them dont recognise

  • DC


    i thought you were in favour of a 50:50 approach – i.e. the OO walks and in parallel the residents, concerned or otherwise, protest against?

  • redstar2011

    And just for good measure- when were the OO elected?

  • DC

    if you look at the Parades Commission rulings over the last few years you see inconsistency in decision making and outcomes – basically inconsistent regulation, despite the situation being the same, a walk out and a walk home.

    In terms of the law, usually once a ruling and decision is made rarely is it mucked around with unless the law is changed which would change it, take the parades commission it has deviated year on year and mucked about with its own decisions concerning the ardoyne walk, so that you never know what you’re going to get. despite the situation being the same in terms of raw demands. I.e to walk, and in contrast, to refuse the walk.

    small wonder people are baffled and querying competence, if not pushing leaders to call time on the PC.

  • iluvni

    Comrade, are those ‘residents’ the same ones who erected Tricolours outside the children’s hospice?

  • GavBelfast

    People really do have little to worry about ….

  • cynic2

    ” People really do have little to worry about ….” unless its a union jack on city hall perhaps?

    This is what passes for politics here on both sides

    ” Has the underplating of local power shifted” ….surely the question is which is the donkey and which is the cart?

  • GavBelfast

    I’m talking about all those who would rather have conflict, it’s simply in the blood and DNA.

    You can see plenty of culprits literally salivating at the prospect of tension and bother, and palpable relief when discussions come to nothing (as long as the blame for same is with the other side, of course).

    Over-indulged and utterly pathetic.

  • michael-mcivor

    Ironic that the flag protesters are now burning flags on their bonfires now-they have no neck on them-

  • Pasty

    Why do Unionists always state that “Their” culture and traditions have to be respected and put up with for a shared society to be acceptable, but never mention a word about Irish Nationalists/Republicans and Catholic traditions?

    If the Orange Order and the Unionist leaders were sincere about shared roads and respect for other traditions then they should come out and state that and make it clear that Republican parades would be accepted through Unionist areas if they so wish to pass, i.e. that means Nationalist and Republican parades being allowed in Ballymena were the DUP objected in the past and Republican parades down the Crumlin Road from Ligoneil to Ardoyne and back – the very same road were the current Unionist Alamo is on.

  • Pasty[12.08 While the New York times tells the world about the hate parades, we get fed the BBC and UTV sickmaking incestuous nonsense of Norn Iron tourist mecca. Message for BBC. CATHOLICS PAY TAXES TO KEEP YOU GOING. Have you NO shame??????

  • cynic2

    “the New York times tells the world about the hate parades”

    What a nice balanced post at 2am, Been out to the Bonfires had we? Run out of cans perhaps?

    Coming from a community whose main elected party is the political wing of an organisation that murdered over 2500 people I doubt we need lessons in hate. Have a look at the mob on Crumlin Road last year and the year before and the year before that and you will see real hate

    The issue is how do we stop hating each other

  • redstar2011

    Well a start would be getting rid of hate organisations like the OO

  • Morpheus

    “Coming from a community whose main elected party is the political wing of an organisation that murdered over 2500 people I doubt we need lessons in hate. Have a look at the mob on Crumlin Road last year and the year before and the year before that and you will see real hate”

    A glorious start to the 12th – it was all THEIR fault.

  • redstar2011

    Word on the street is with Garvaghy sorted, now Ardoyne getting sorted Ggormley is next. Watch this space….

  • Pasty

    Redstar 7:17 – next to be sorted will be the Donegall Street and St Patrick’s as there is no way that any bands could possibly be allowed to go down there again. The Orange men may well be allowed to pass but they will not be accompanied by supporters or bands.

    By Striking up such sectarian tunes they have forfeited the right to parade that way in future and have only themselves to blame. The statements from the Orange Order merely shows that they think they still rule the 6 counties, and this bravado has been rekindled by the UUP and Mike Nesbitt in the positions that they have taken in promoting hardline No Surrender crap.

    Time has moved on and the days of every member of the Government Executive in the North being in the Orange Order are well and truly passed – it could well be that Ardoyne will go down as the Orange Orders Alamo !!!!