Orangmen returning to north Belfast on the Twelfth of July

Orangmen returning to north Belfast on the Twelfth of July

THE Parades Commission is to issue a ruling later on a proposed Orange Order parade in north Belfast on Saturday past the flashpoint Ardoyne shop fronts.

The ruling is expected after 11 am following a meeting of the Commission at its Belfast city centre headquarters.

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

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 would 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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