TENSIONS MOUNT AS ORANGE ORDER APPLY FOR SECOND ARDOYNE PARADE

Loyalists attack PSNI landrovers which blocked their return route home on Friday

Loyalists attack PSNI landrovers which blocked their return route home on Friday

THE Orange Order has applied for a parade past the Ardoyne shop fronts in north Belfast this weekend.

It follows five nights of serious rioting after the Parades Commission banned them marching the same route on the Twelfth of July.

The submission by the Orange Order, regarding a planned march on Saturday, was unexpectedly made to the parades watchdog on Wednesday.

It requests permission for 500 participants, including one band, to make their way along Brookemount Street, Shankill Road, Woodvale Road and Crumlin Road to Ligoniel Orange Hall.

The bid proposes that the parade starts at 2.45pm and finishes at 4.30pm.

Nationalist politicians say that the application will only further damage community relations.

“Is there anyone with sense in the Orange Order that is going to pull back from this and realise, not only the damage that they are doing to community relations, but also to their own organisation?” Sinn Féin North Belfast MLA Gerry Kelly said.

“Where is the leadership?

“Tensions need to de-escalate, not increase – but the Orange Order are still sending out the same confrontational messages.”

Mr Kelly added that lessons had not been learned by the Orange Order.

The organisation has faced criticism from some quarters after holding protests on the Twelfth in areas where trouble later flared. The protests were called off late that night, after rioting erupted.

“The Orange Order said they were calling off their protests and yet we still have marches up to police lines at interfaces nightly and now this application to march on Saturday,” Mr Kelly said.

“Either they have called off their protests or they haven’t. All this application does is inflame the situation.”

SDLP North Belfast MLA Alban Maginness also criticised the move by the Orange Order.

A family estate car burned out on the Albertbridge Road in east Belfast after rioting on Tuesday night

A family estate car burned out on the Albertbridge Road in east Belfast after rioting on Tuesday night

“This application for another parade on the Crumlin Road is unhelpful and irresponsible, particularly in the light of the fact that the Orange Order has now suspended its protests,” he said.

“I am calling on the Orange Order to see sense and withdraw their application. This is particularly important given the community tensions and recent violence.

“It is time now for leadership and calm and I am calling on the Orange Order to do the right thing.”

“I believe that if we can resolve the issue of parading, north Belfast will blossom. The community deserves nothing less.”

A total of 71 police officers have been injured during five consecutive nights of disorder, mostly in north and east Belfast – but also in the south of the city, Newtownabbey and Portadown.

Blast bombs, petrol bombs, fireworks and bricks have been thrown at officers, who have responded during the worst of the violence with water cannon and baton rounds.

A number of arrests have been made, including three children in the early hours of Wednesday in Newtownabbey – the youngest aged just 12.

The Orange Order has said it is not making any comment on the Ardoyne application at this stage.

The Parades Commission, which the Order wants scrapped, is due to make a ruling on Thursday after meeting at its central Belfast headquarters at 11am.

 

Share |


2 Responses to TENSIONS MOUNT AS ORANGE ORDER APPLY FOR SECOND ARDOYNE PARADE

  1. Pingback: ORANGEMEN SEEK NEW MARCH PAST ARDOYNE | seachranaidhe1

FacebookTwitter
BD TV
Email Us