Orangmen returning to north Belfast on the Twelfth of July

Orangmen returning to north Belfast on the Twelfth of July

THE Parades Commission has refused the Orange Order permission for a parade in north Belfast on Saturday past the flashpoint Ardoyne shop fronts.

The ruling was announced shortly before 3 pm.

The Orange Order says the Parades Commission must “bear full responsibility” for the anger in recent days over its Ardoyne decision on July 12.

In a statement, a spokesman for Grand Lodge said: “This decision by the Parades Commission to prevent this dignified parade is a further indictment of this already discredited body.

“Amid the obvious anger which has manifested itself over recent days, to which the commission must bear full responsibility, Grand Lodge would once again appeal for calm.

“People are entitled to express their views through peaceful protest in a democratic society – however, those intent on causing trouble should stay away from Saturday’s parade.

“Violence is counterproductive and serves no purpose, only damaging the cause of Orangeism.”

The determination is expected to cause widespread anger among the Orange Order and among loyalists in north and west Belfast.

SF MLA Gerry Kelly welcomed the ruling, saying the Orange Order in Belfast need to “step out of the bubble they are living in”.

The Commission has laid down a number of restrictions on the LOL No2 district parade.

The parade must not pass the junction of Woodvale Parade and Woodvale Road; and Hesketh Road and Crumlin Road.

Other restrictions include:

* disperse by 4.30 pm;

* three bands only;

* no undue stoppages or delay;

* no singing;

* no chanting;

* no loud drumming;

* no paramilitary clothing or flags.

On Wednesday, the Orange Order applied for permission for a new march.

It wanted members of LOL NO 2 district to return home by its normal route which was banned on July 12 by the Commission.

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 parade plan was to pass the Ardoyne shops on the Crumlin Road, the same area they were banned from on the evening of July 12.

There has been rioting in Northern Ireland since last Friday’s banned march.

The commission’s previous ruling, that the July 12 parade could pass the Ardoyne shops in the morning, but could not walk the same route in the evening, sparked anger and widespread protests from unionists.

Earlier this week, the Orange Order said it was suspending its protest against that decision, but demonstrations and disturbances have continued in some loyalist areas.

Sinn Féin MLA Gerry Kelly said the Orange Order had not learned any lessons from the violence over the last few days and added that by applying for another parade, they were damaging community relations and themselves.

“All this application does is inflame the situation,” he said.

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

“Is there anyone with sense in the Orange Order that is going to pull back from this? Where is the leadership?”

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