Sinn Fein has challenged loyalist claims that talks between the Orange Order and Ardoyne residents have been ongoing for eight years.
In yesterday’s News Letter loyalists associated with the Twaddell Avenue protest said Sinn Fein calls for dialogue were spurious as there had been talks for eight years already.
Isaac Andrews of the UPRG said: “We have given way on flags and certain bands they did not like, timing, music and have moved supporters on.”
PUP spokesman Winston Irvine said: “It suits the Sinn Fein agenda to call for dialogue and say Protestants will not talk. But the Parades Commission can verify talks have taken place for years.”
Tommy Cheevers of the North and West Belfast Parades Forum said: “Sinn Fein know the media are not aware of these talks so they put out statements calling for dialogue.”
But yesterday Sinn Fein rejected the claims.
“While meetings occurred, no one representing the Orange Order was there,” the party said.
“That is why the statement from the Orange Order on July 10 this year called the talks held with Ardoyne residents’ group CARA ‘unprecedented’.
“The UPRG are not the Orange Order and did not say they were there to represent the Orange Order. The experience of residents’ groups in talks with loyalists has been a lack of movement and leadership from the loyalists.”