WELSH SUMMIT FOR PARADE PEACE TALKS ‘LEEKS’ OUT

Apprentice Boys parade went ahead following security alert in north Belfast on Easter Monday

Apprentice Boys parade went ahead following security alert in north Belfast on Easter Monday

TOP secret talks aimed at bringing peace to this summer’s marching season have been revealed.

Senior PSNI chiefs will meet next week in Wales along with politicians and community representatives to thrash out a way forward.

It is understood academics from the University of Ulster will also be involved in the crunch Cardiff talks.

Sources have suggested that at least one trade union official, who has been involved in cross-community talks in the past, may also be invited.

The PSNI fear officers could be in for a “long hot summer” if agreement can’t be reached over contentious parades.

The decision taken in December not to fly the Union flag all year round at Belfast City Hall led to widespread street protests and violence.

The move inflamed tensions in loyalist areas of east Belfast, Newtownabbey, Glengormley and Carrickfergus.

In the background, dissident republicans have been plotting bomb attacks, including leaving a device at an Apprentice Boys march in north Belfast on Easter Monday.

The peace talks in Wales could be a last ditched bid to head of possible trouble flaring up at contentious parades during July and August, the height of the marching season.

In a statement on Thursday afternoon, the PSNI said they would be meeting with key stakeholders in Cardiff to discuss a range of issues in relation to policing in Belfast.

A statement added: “The attendee list has not yet been finalised.

“As a police service, we believe it is important that we listen to the views expressed by our stakeholders and the community.

“We also want to ensure constructive lines of engagement are established and remain open.

“There are no further details at this stage.”

First Minister Peter Robinson and the Deputy First Minister Martin McGuinness also announced on Thursday afternoon the setting up of an all party working group.

It will have an independent chairman to discuss flags, parades and how to deal with Northern Ireland’s past.

 

 

 

 

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