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Orange Order ‘disappointment’ at Parades Commission determination

Nationalist protesters outside St Patrick's Church in Belfast as a Orange Parade  Passes in 2012

Nationalist protesters outside St Patrick's Church in Belfast as a Orange Parade Passes in 2012

 

The Orange Order has expressed “huge disappointment” at the Parades Commission determination on the annual Tour of the North Parade.

The determination for the June 20 parade, published yesterday, placed a number of restrictions.

Yesterday an Orange Order spokesman stressed the organisations disappointment, “in light of the initiative announced by the County Grand Orange Lodge of Belfast” to only play hymns as the bands pass Saint Patrick’s chapel in Donegall Street.

The spokesman also noted the determination was “in stark contrast to the positive response to the goodwill gesture regarding the playing of hymns, which was publicly welcomed by St Patrick’s administrator, Fr Michael Sheehan”.

“This new Parades Commission is quickly losing its shine and is mimicking its predecessor, rather than bringing a fresh perspective,” he said.

“It continues to be part of the problem and is not the solution.”

Next week Ballysillan Orange Lodge will not be allowed to walk along part of a road that separates nationalist and loyalist communities in north Belfast.

The lodge is not allowed to parade along Woodvale Road and Crumlin Road between Woodvale Parade and Hesketh Road on the return route.

A loyalist protest is continuing in the area after the Orange Order was stopped from returning along the same stretch of road during last year’s July 12 parade.

In addition, bands must only play a single drumbeat as they pass St Patrick’s Catholic Church on Donegall Street.

No supporters will be allowed to accompany the parade on Donegall Street.

The Commission has also ruled that no more than 50 people can take part in a nationalist protest at Carrickhill.

 

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