Orange Order given permission to complete 2013 parade
Parades Commission allows organisation to finish the return leg of Twelfth of July march
A loyalist protester gestures to the police in north Belfast in July 14th, 2013, after an Orange Parade was blocked from marching past the nationalist Ardoyne area. File photograph: Cathal McNaughton
The determination by the commission on Wednesday afternoon means that Orangemen who were prevented from completing their return evening parade past shops on the Crumlin Road on the Twelfth of July in 2013 can now complete the march.
The commission issued its ruling following an agreement over the weekend between the order and an Ardoyne nationalist residents’ group on the dispute.
The long-running dispute over the return parade has led to violence in north Belfast on the Twelfth of July for several years.
This year’s event concluded peacefully, but Orangemen were blocked once again from parading past the Ardoyne shops on the Crumlin Road.
The latest agreement also paves the way for the dismantling of the loyalist Camp Twaddell close to the shops, which was established in 2013 in protest at the Parades Commission decision to prevent Orangemen from completing their return parade in the area.
The agreement is between the Orange Order and the Crumlin and Ardoyne Residents Association (Cara), which is supported by Sinn Féin.
The Greater Ardoyne Residents’ Collective (Garc), which is viewed as sympathetic to dissident republicanism, opposes the deal.
Garc said it would stage a protest in Ardoyne on Friday night and also during the Orange Order’s return parade, which is scheduled for Saturday morning.
A spokesman for the Parades Commission said the agreement “presents an opportunity for resolution of the decades-long parading disputes at the Crumlin Road.
“The commission’s assessment is that there is evidence of support within the local north Belfast communities to achieve the agreement’s desired aims.
“The initiative raises expectations for improved community relations in local north Belfast communities and may address the severe disruption to the life of the local community caused by parades and protests,” the spokesman said.