THE Orange Order has put a massive effort into calming the situation in Northern Ireland ahead of the Twelfth of July tomorrow, says the institutions Grand Secretary.
Drew Nelson said members have organised peaceful protests across Northern Ireland in support of Ligoniel Orangemen whose return parade home is banned for a second year by the Parades Commission.
At a news conference hosted by unionist leaders and the Orange Order yesterday. they unveiled the first part of what they call their graduated response to the ruling on a north Belfast parade.
It revealed that each parade on the Twelfth will stop for six minutes – the length of time the Ligoniel parade would take to walk up the Crumlin Road tomorrow evening.
Secretary of State Theresa Villiers said she would meet unionist and Orange Order leaders to discuss their call for a commission of inquiry into the issue of parades.
Mr Nelson said the institution was doing what it could could to ensure peace.
“We are stepping up to the mark here to try and manage this situation,” Mr Nelson told the BBC’s current affairs programme The View on Thursday night.
“If we did nothing, it would create a more volatile situation and increase the risk of violence and we are doing everything in our power to stop that.
The Parades Commission, last week, ruled that the Ligoniel Orange Lodge should not make a return parade along a stretch of the Crumlin Road that separates unionist and nationalist communities on 12 July.
It is the second year in a row that such a ruling has been made.