Published on Tuesday 14 June 2011 08:39
TWO Orange lodges which have had restrictions placed upon their Belfast march will hold meetings to decide whether to seek a review from the Parades Commission.
Last week, the commission sparked outrage when it banned Ligoniel True Blues LOL 1932 and Earl of Erne LOL 647 from passing the Ardoyne shops, the scene of fierce rioting in the past.
They are barred from using a half-mile stretch of road between the junction of Woodvale Parade and Woodvale Road and the Hesketh Road-Crumlin Road junction as a route for a feeder parade for the Tour of the North on Friday.
Winston Irvine, from the North and West Belfast Parades and Cultural Forum, said the decision had caused “widespread anger” and accused the commission of undermining the mediatory process.
“Once again, the Parades Commission has shown a complete lack of respect, and a contempt for the Protestant culture, and there is a deep sense of outrage and widespread anger,” he said.
“It is not too late, the lodges could still seek a review. I understand that the two lodges will have a series of meetings over the next few days, and if there is some new evidence, then the commission will be duty-bound to review the decision which they have made.”
Prior to last week’s decision, the group had been in talks with the Cultural Forum Crumlin Ardoyne Residents’ Association [CARA] to find a resolution. The Parades Commission ruling said it had been in dialogue with both sides, but no agreement had been reached and it had imposed the restrictions.
Mr Irvine said marchers had been further angered after it emerged that the Parades Commission had met with another “more hardline” residents’ group – the Greater Ardoyne Residents’ Collective (GARC).
“It is very difficult to see how we can go forward from this – we had been meeting with the recognised group CARA since March, and now we have heard that the commission has met with the this other group, GARC. It has totally undermined the process, and I think the commission has a number of questions to answer,” he added.
A spokesperson for the Parades Commission confirmed it had met with representatives from GARC, but stressed that residents’ group was “not part of the process”.
“We held a meeting with GARC, but this meeting took place after the decision was made, they were not part of the process.
“The commission recognises CARA as the official body representing residents.”
Indeed, a resolution appears to be even more remote after a republican website quoted a member of GARC who said: “The current CARA talks with loyalists are not on behalf of all the residents of greater Ardoyne… these talks are not going to bring an end to trouble surrounding the march because people simply don’t know what is being discussed or agreed in their name.”
A COPY OF THE POST WRITTEN IN THE NEWS LETTER: Seachranaidhe1