The Complexities of Parading – Mervyn Gibson & Sean Murray – a challenging but polite seminar

A seminar on The Complexities of Parading was held on Wednesday evening by the Journey Towards Healing project of NIAMH Wellbeing (Northern Ireland Association for Mental Health). Gary Mason hosted the conversation, with remarks from Mervyn Gibson (minister of Westbourne Presbyterian Community Church and assistant grand master of the Grand Orange Lodge of Ireland) and Sean Murray (Sinn Féin) before opening up to the thirty or forty people present in a Belfast City Mission meeting room. Both panel members have … Read more

The problem is not a weak parades commission, it’s our politics..

Fascinating. Liam Clarke nails something vital here: ….the only way through the marching season is for Parades Commission decisions to be honoured and enforced by the police. That is the message we need from politicians and, if they don’t like the situation, the answer is in their own hands. They have spent years trying to agree an alternative means of regulating the very small number of disputed parades which blight each summer here. Their failure is the backdrop to the … Read more

Kennaway: Resolving the Parading Conflict

Brian Kennaway served on the Parades Commission from 2011-13-an essay similar to this has also been published in the Newsletter POLITICS Politics in Northern Ireland does not reflect any real understanding of what it means to be a political representative in a democratic society. When any politician is elected to represent a particular parliamentary constituency they are to represent the totality of that constituency, not a sectional interest within it and certainly not only those who may have voted for … Read more

And then, the marching season was back upon us…

The Parades Commission has given its determination on the latest application by the ‘Ligoniel Combine’ to stage a parade along the section of the route that the Commission has specifically ruled out since 12th July last year. The reaction to this will, to some extent, colour the atmosphere as those summer parades that are usually contentious approach. Significantly, yesterday, First Minister Peter Robinson chose to avoid the debate on racism in the Assembly that his own comments sparked. Instead, he went with a … Read more

Human Rights Political Policing PSNI Brutality

The Parades Commission has given its determination on the ‘Loyal Peaceful Protestors’ march on 30th November through Belfast city centre. The purpose of the parade is given on the application as ‘Human Rights Political Policing PSNI Brutality’ and the date is to coincide with anniversary of the designated days vote in Belfast city council (which is actually on the Tuesday after). Having received an application to bring 10,000 marchers and 40 bands through the city centres main streets from 1 … Read more

No #Twaddell from Parades Commission

The Parades Commission has given its response to the ‘Twaddell Initiative‘ put forward by Unionists and the Orders. Not only does it say No, but it publicly deconstructs how it was first made aware of proposal by the media and dismissed the grounds for a late application, the failure to abide by its ruling for the 12th July parade and continued breaches of its determinations. It was abundantly plain that that would be the case (although there is still Nigel … Read more

More #Twaddell: DUP, dupes and duplicity.

The onus is now upon nationalism to show leadership and to respond positively to this genuine attempt to reach accommodation. They must face down the elements in their community who wish to drag Northern Ireland back. So says DUP ‘leader’ Peter Robinson, but presumably not in reference to his party members who were advocating burning tricolours, defacing religious statues, indulging in murder fantasies, okay with assaults on the mayor or happy to be seen at UVF parades. Robinson was actually … Read more

Scotland’s Commissioner to investigate Gerry Kelly’s attendance and speech at Castlederg parade

With the Northern Ireland Assembly Commissioner for Standards, Douglas Bain, having recused himself from the investigation of the complaints that Sinn Féin MLA Gerry Kelly’s attendance and speech at the controversial Castlederg Parade in August this year was in breach of the code of conduct for MLAs “by glorifying terrorism and damaging community relations”  [Is he washing his hair? – Ed]  He’s a member of the Parades Commission…  ANYhoo…  As the BBC report, the NI Assembly today agreed to appoint Scotland’s Commissioner for Ethical Standards in … Read more

Even Protestants don’t support parades and protests: #LucidTalk

More figures from LucidTalk in the Belfast Telegraph, this time on Parades. Respondents were asked which statements they agreed most closely with (results given as percentages): If you exclude don’t knows, you get the following results (results given as percentages): And, if pie-charts are your thing, here’s charts for the first three groups excluding don’t knows: … and Protestants (excluding don’t knows)…   … and Catholics (excluding don’t knows)… As to the poll itself, the stats provided state that: Our LucidTalk … Read more

Belfast No 3 District signals #Ardoyne as new Drumcree

There was a strong hint today that unionism is heading towards a Drumcree-style approach at Ardoyne. After the announcement from the Parades Commission that Belfast No 2 District will also be restricted from parading the section of the Crumlin Road from Woodvale to Hesketh Road this Saturday, Belfast No 3 District have applied to march the same route on 3rd August. If you want a quick view of the Drumcree approach, see Ryan’s take on it here: Is this the … Read more

Belfast No 2 District wants to try again: #Ardoyne

Belfast No. 2 District have now applied to parade along the same section that they walked last Friday morning, but were restricted from in the evening. Presumably, they now feel suitably fortified with the Assembly’s motion on the Parade’s Commission’s ‘illogical determination’ in their hip pocket, despite the fact that, due to AK47 NI21 not supporting the motion, it didn’t even win the support of all unionists. Since it was Belfast No.2 District that were involved last Friday, I am sure the Parades Commission … Read more

“this Assembly notes the lawful but illogical determination issued by the Parades Commission…”

As the BBC reports, the Northern Ireland Assembly has rejected a tabled Sinn Féin amendment, and supported the DUP’s original motion on the recent north Belfast determination of the Parades Commission by 43 votes to 42 – here’s the Commission’s earlier defence of that decision.  And here’s the resolved text from the NI Assembly That this Assembly notes the lawful but illogical determination issued by the Parades Commission on 9 July 2013 in relation to the application by the three Ligoniel Orange Lodges for … Read more

Is ‘Mutual Aid’ an explicit criticism of PSNI political policing?

Chris has pretty much nailed most of the 2013 #Twelfth (so far) apart from one issue which has generally passed almost without comment. A couple of days before the Twelfth, the PSNI Chief Constable Matt Baggott announced that 630 extra police officers would be deployed for the 2013 marching season. These officers would be drafted in from England, Scotland and Wales. The BelTel on 10th July reported: Speaking last night, Mr Baggott said the operational move was made as this year … Read more

SDLP to lodge an amendment to the DUP’s special motion on Tuesday…

And it seems that the SDLP will be putting an amendment down when the Assembly meets for a special sitting on Tuesday. Conall McDevitt: “On Tuesday when the Assembly meets the SDLP will seek to give parties the opportunity back an amendment to the DUP motion which condemns the violence, challenges the sectarianism displayed this 12th and supports the lawful institutions of the land including the Parades Commission. “On Saturday at the fields we heard the language of war by … Read more

“The Commission has heard the decision of the judge late this evening and cannot agree with his view…”

We’ll have to wait to see the detail.  But, in the meantime, the News Letter has the he said/she said response to a High Court ruling overturning a Parades Commission determination in Castlederg.  From the News Letter report A spokesman for the band, which was supported by TUV leader Jim Allister, said the case was won through a resident who protested that he was being denied the right to see the parade. “The commission could not explain their position,” he said. “They … Read more

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 … Read more

2013 contingency plan: let’s get all Belfast lodges to go to #Ardoyne

The Irish News is reporting  that the Orange Order may put a contingency plan in place that would see all lodges in Belfast take a return route that takes them to the restricted section at Ardoyne (via paywall). According to the Irish News: It is believed they [the Orange Order] are considering asking Orangemen to march home from the field along with the three north Belfast lodges banned from walking the Crumlin Road. With perhaps little sense of irony the Grand Lodge … Read more

And after the Ardoyne parade back up to Stormont, again…

Well given the passion (and the brutality of that DUP attack) on Monday… the DUP have decided to call everyone back into Stormont on Tuesday, 16 July 2013… A spokeswoman for the assembly said: “There will be an additional plenary sitting of the Northern Ireland assembly on Tuesday, 16 July 2013 after the Speaker received a valid request to recall the assembly. “Plenary will begin at 12 noon and will discuss a motion in respect of the impact of a determination … Read more

Sinn Féin Minister hit by PSNI jeep following Tour of the North

According to reports on twitter, Sinn Féin Minister Carál Ní Chuilín was taken to hospital after being hit by a jeep at Carrickhill following the Tour of the North parade on Friday night. Gerry Kelly was also carried on the bonnet of a PSNI jeep. Gerry Adams has given some details: Caral released from hospital.Torn ligaments.Spoke 2 her.She was hit by PSNI jeep.Gerry K carried 50 yds on bonnet of jeep.Area now quiet. — Gerry Adams (@GerryAdamsSF) June 21, 2013 … Read more

“Republicans should remember that the third colour in the Irish flag is Orange…”

Last Thursday’s The View gave most of the programme over to the vexed issue of parading. It includes a number of noteworthy points. Neil Jarmin points out that the Parades Commission has missed an opportunity offered it by Paddy Ashdown’s Strategic Review of Parading to give it a more robust set of processes (that might give people more realistic expectations, and enable it to field appeals). As Better Together noted some time back here on Slugger: …the volume of complaint … Read more