EXCLUSIVE: LOYALISTS are considering an end to their nightly peaceful protests in north Belfast.
They are said to be angered after an Orange Order parade was yet again refused permission to march past the Ardoyne shops.
While republicans welcomed the decision by the Parades Commission, loyalists in north Belfast are said to be furious that march has once again been banned.
The fear in north Belfast is that violence could erupt again with the PSNI taking the brunt of loyalist anger.
A loyalist source in the north of the city told Belfast Daily: “This decision by the Parades Commission could very well see the end of the nightly peaceful protests at Twaddell.
“That is the strong talk among loyalists in north Belfast.
“And if the peaceful protests end, well then it could be a wake up call for the PSNI.
“People on the ground are very angry at the Parades Commission decision to stop a parade on a Saturday morning going past the Ardoyne shops at 9 am.
“This place could erupt again just like the Twelfth of July. The situation is very tense at the moment,” added the loyalist source.
It is currently costing the PSNI £50,000 per night to police the protest at Twaddell Avenue.
A total of three lodges had applied to the Parades Commission to march along the stretch past the Ardoyne shops.
It was the scene of several nights of serious rioting following this year’s Twelfth when a return feeder parade by Ligoniel lodges was blocked by the PSNI following a Parades Comms.
The decision on Wednesday came after an Orange Order plan – called the ‘Twaddell Initiative’ – to resolve the bitter dispute over the controversial parade route was kicked into touch by republicans.
The Orange Order branded the Parades Commission decision as “shameful”.
In a statement, it said: “The Twaddell Initiative outlined by the County Grand Orange Lodge of Belfast was a genuine and sincere attempt to resolve the current impasse, and reach an equitable solution allowing our Ligoniel brethren to complete their Twelfth parade in a dignified manner.”
The decision comes after five nights of violent rioting in north and east Belfast this summer, which erupted after bands were prevented to walking along the stretch of the Crumlin Road.
The violence left more than 70 officers injured and cost tax payers millions.
Following the trouble, subsequent parades by the Orange Order have not been allowed to pass by the junction of Woodvale Parade and Woodvale Road.
Since the Twelfth, a loyalist protest camp has been occupied 24 hours a day by those who have vowed to remain there until the Parades Commission allows the lodges to ‘finish their Twelfth of July parade’.
North Belfast DUP MP Nigel Dodds said Wednesday’s decision from the Parades Commission “demonstrates that they have learnt nothing from the experiences of recent years”.
“The Twaddell Initiative is a real attempt to move things forward. The out of hand rejection by Cara of a morning parade and intensive dialogue demonstrates their bad faith in past talks,” he said.
“Now that they have a proposal which previously they didn’t object to, they still find reasons to oppose and reject it.”
However, the local Crumlin Ardoyne Residents’ Association (CARA) has welcomed the Parades Commission decision.
Spokesman Joe Marley said there was a “need for dialogue” to resolve the dispute, not more parades.
In the light of the Parades Commission determination, police chiefs in the area are preparing for a possible loyalist backlash.