News Column

Orange Order to Protest Marching Ban

July 12, 2013

The Orange Order is planning protests against a decision to ban a parade past a flashpoint in north Belfast.

Orangemen claim the Parades Commission created a crisis when it decided to prevent the annual march in Ardoyne on July 12.

However, they insisted the demonstrations will be peaceful.

Senior Belfast Orangeman Spencer Beattie said: "We request that the Parades Commission is no longer recognised, acknowledged or engaged with by any member of the Unionist community."

It is understood one of the protests will be held close to the disputed stretch of road in Ardoyne.

The commission ruled that Orange Order members and bandsmen can walk on the contested stretch of Crumlin Road this morning but for the first time has blocked their return march in the evening.

Secretary of State for Northern Ireland Theresa Villiers said: "I do not have a legal power to intervene in the commission determination. That power is only triggered with an application from the chief constable. The chief has not said anything to me and I don't believe for a moment that he will."

On Wednesday, Democratic Unionist MP for North Belfast Nigel Dodds was expelled from the Commons after accusing Ms Villiers of deliberate deception. The DUP claims the minister could do more to tackle the issue.

An extra 630 police officers are being drafted in from across the UK, including Scotland, to help the PSNI keep peace over the 12th.

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Source: Copyright Herald, The (Scotland)

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