The Parades Commission has today banned the Orange Order from a return parade along the Crumlin Road in North Belfast.
The Order had applied to complete the return leg of the parade on Saturday, which had originally been prevented on 12th July 2013.
This is the fourth time the application has been denied, however there was speculation that this application was likely to be successful, following a fresh attempt at dialogue between the Orange Order, a residents group and politicians, which began last week.
However, the Parades Commission Determination stated that “On the outward parade Ligoniel Combine and the accompanying bands and supporters shall not process that part of the notified route between the junction of Woodvale Parade and Woodvale Road and the junction of Hesketh Road and Crumlin Road.”
Commenting after the determination, Ian Mc Laughlin, a spokesperson for the West Belfast UPRG, who were involved in talks yesterday along with senior DUP politicians, said “We have learned with dismay of the decision by the Parades Commission to deny the Ligoneil Lodges and bandsmen their right to walk the “shared Crumlin road”. This decision is all the more perverse given the levels of engagement which has taken place over the last number of months, and indeed the last twelve years. The anger and frustration of the PUL community is compounded by the fact that once again the bare faced and blatant threat of republican violence has been rewarded.”
Sinn Féin’s Gerry Kelly, said it was a “sensible decision”. “There had been a determination, it was made on the 13th July last, and that determination should not have been broken by another Parades Commission.”
Pup leader Billy Hutchinson stated “We hear a lot of talk about shared future, but people can’t share that road for eight minutes”.
The intended banned parade route has been the scene of violence over the last number of years, with both Loyalist and Republican rioting at respective flashpoints. In 2012, republican gunmen fired at the PSNI, while the following year, water cannons were deployed in an effort to quell three days of trouble at the Twaddell end of the interface, in which there were a number of arrests and injuries.
Unionist sources have indicated to Vixens that dialogue with the Parades Commission will now be reviewed following the decision, while Dee Fennell, GARC spokesperson has stated that a return parade would not be welcome “under any circumstances”.