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

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