An Phoblacht

Anger as Parades Commission allows Ardoyne 12th parade

The Parades Commission has come under fire for allowing an Orange Parade to pass along the Crumlin Road and past the Ardoyne Shops in North Belfast next Monday 12 July.

The Commission ruled, on Monday 5 July, that four Orange Lodges and bands will be allowed to march along the Crumlin Road and past the Ardoyne shops on Monday morning, en route for the 12th, while on Monday evening three lodges are allowed on the return route. No bands, however, are to be permitted to make the return journey.

Reacting to the decision, Sinn Fein MLA for North Belfast, Gerry Kelly, said 'the Orange Order time and time again have clearly broken the restrictions placed upon them by the Commission, yet the very same Commission fails to sanction them'.

Kelly accused the Parades Commission of rewarding the Orange Order for refusing to engage with nationalist residents.

The Parades Commission made its ruling on the Ardoyne parade just days after it received a report, compiled by international observers, containing photographic evidence showing UDA commander William John Borland leading the Orange Parade past the Ardoyne shops last year.

The report, the work of the United States-based Irish Parades Emergency Committee (IPEC) and the Brehon Law Society, highlighted the prominence of the loyalist leader and other known loyalists at the 2003 parade and described their presence as 'pervasive'.

The report outlined how 'contested parades are often accompanied by loyalist paramilitary displays and sectarian harassment in contradiction of the laws and rules of marching. IPEC and Brehon Law Society observers documented the open inclusion of paramilitary and other sectarian elements in Orange Order parades in defiance of both Parades Commission rulings and public order legislation.'

The report, titled Marching and Disorder, also pointed out how the 'impact of intense militarisation in order to facilitate Orange Order Parades has an incalculable negative effect on the residents of these communities. Such deployments disrupt the life of the community.

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