Senior Orange figures 'meet with Parades Commission for the very first time' – commission hails the move

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Senior members of the Orange Order have met with Parades Commission officials for the very first time, according to the commission.

It was part of attempts to stave off a potential re-ignition of the Twaddell parading dispute in north Belfast – something which the commission has just handed down two major rulings over.

The Twaddell stand-off, as it was known, has been dormant since 2016 but the commission and police feared that violence could resurface again this Twelfth of July.

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Restrictions have now been imposed on two significant Orange parades in the area: one on the Twelfth and one on the 13th.

A star pendant on an Orangeman's sashA star pendant on an Orangeman's sash
A star pendant on an Orangeman's sash

The restrictions cut short the route of one march, and re-route the other to avoid the Ardoyne shopfronts / Twaddell roundabout.

In the course of discussing all this, the Parades Commission says: "The County Grand Lodge of Belfast, together with political and community representatives, made representations in person, supplemented by detailed written representations on behalf of the Country Grand Orange Lodge of Belfast.

"The Orange Order emphasised the importance of the fact that it was the first time that it, as an institution, had formally made representations to the Commission, at the level of County Grand Master and County Grand Secretary…

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"The Commission welcomes the fact that the Orange Order has, for the first time, met it directly to provide representations.

"This is a very positive development, as it has heard first-hand the views of the Orange Order and those who work tirelessly on behalf of the Protestant / Unionist / Loyalist community in Ardoyne and the wider area.

"This has been very helpful to the Commission in informing its considerations.”

The Orange Order declined to comment on Tuesday.

The above statement from the commission appears in a major ruling it has handed down concerning those two parades in north Belfast.