Ballysillan lodge: Why we’re stopping our Twaddell protest

Picture - Kevin Scott / Presseye

Belfast , UK - April 07, Pictured is the 1000th day parade held at Twaddell in North Belfast on April 07, 2016  Belfast, Northern Ireland ( Photo by Kevin Scott / Presseye )

Picture - Kevin Scott / Presseye Belfast , UK - April 07, Pictured is the 1000th day parade held at Twaddell in North Belfast on April 07, 2016 Belfast, Northern Ireland ( Photo by Kevin Scott / Presseye )

One of the three Ligoneil Orange lodges will no longer be taking part in daily protests in north Belfast, it said last night.

Members of Ballysillan LOL 1981 march on a nightly basis and every Saturday in protest at the impasse over the July 12 return parade past Ardoyne shops.

Pictured is the 1000th day parade held at Twaddell in North Belfast on April 07, 2016  Belfast, Northern Ireland ( Photo by Kevin Scott / Presseye )

Pictured is the 1000th day parade held at Twaddell in North Belfast on April 07, 2016 Belfast, Northern Ireland ( Photo by Kevin Scott / Presseye )

But the protests will stop from midday today.

Here is their statement in full:

“Ballysillan LOL 1981 has taken the weeks since the latest failed initiative for the Crumlin Road impasse to consider its position and the future of the protest. For our Lodge this has been always been about securing our human rights and we thank all those who have given their time and money to support our campaign.

The latest failed initiative took place without our knowledge or participation, in fact GARC knew about it before the Ligoniel Lodges.

The agreement was presented in different ways to the Ligoneil Lodges and the Ardoyne residents on the issue of future return parades. The linkage of funding to this deal is of significant concern; this was about human rights not money. CARA’s rejection of it in the face of GARC criticism demonstrates their inability to deliver.

The secrecy, misrepresentations of the deal and breach of faith by those involved in the failed initiative leave us in a very difficult situation.

In the absence of honesty and good faith by others we are left with no option but to suspend our protest.

We will not abandon our aim of a return evening parade and will continue to apply for that and no one is empowered to negotiate on our behalf about our future applications.

Finally we also call for the following questions to be answered so everyone will fully understand the situation:

Past negotiations included representation from the three Ligoniel Lodges. The most recent initiative did not.

When was this change of policy decided?

Who took the decision?

Why?

In the presentation of the latest initiative it was said that a resolution of the Crumlin Road would see a reversal of the new restrictions on the Whiterock parade. In the past linking of parade issues was rejected.

Has a link between the two parades been created by the Parades Commission?

Has a link between the two parades been created by the Springfield Residents Spokesperson Spike Murray and CARA?

Have the Parades Commission and Residents Groups combined to create this linkage?

Has a link between the two parades been accepted by the Orange Institution?

The present offer is for a morning return parade, the promise of no opposition to future morning parades from CARA and the closure of the Camp Twaddell. This offer is more than 10 years old. This offer was consistently rejected as it did not include an evening return parade on 12th July which was sacrosanct. Please explain why it is acceptable now?

There seems to be a lack of clarity about the potential or otherwise for a return parade on 12th July in future years. This was presented as a matter for future dialogue but ruled out at the CARA residents meeting. What is the status of a future return parade on 12th July, negotiable or non-negotiable?

There have been various claims of potential funding for the broader community if the agreement had been successful e.g. a social economy investment for Ardoyne.

Is there funding related to the recent initiative?

If so, how much, for which organisations and for what purposes?

In the interests of full transparency will all the parties:

Agree to what was agreed being published in its entirety?

State publicly their position on the recent initiative?

Honest answers are what those who have supported our campaign deserve. Once again we thank everyone for their support and look forward to it in future years when we seek to return home on 12th July 2017 and thereafter.”