Details of a deal to end the long-running Ardoyne parade dispute could be revealed within weeks, it has been claimed.
A protest camp at Twaddell Avenue – set up in support of the three Ligoniel Orange Order lodges banned from completing their July 12 parade each year since 2013 – will also be dismantled as part of the agreement.
One of the three lodges had been opposed to the deal on offer from a nationalist residents’ group, but the resignation of several Ballysillan LOL 1891 members appears to have paved the way for a resolution.
An Orange Order source told the News Letter that final preparations for a return parade are taking place and the details will be revealed in the very near future.
The Orange source said it was now almost inevitable that a final agreement will be announced, and added: “There are ongoing talks and we hope to produce a resolution within a month.”
It is understood the Crumlin and Ardoyne Residents Association (CARA) is involved in finalising the deal, while the Greater Ardoyne Residents Collective (GARC) has repeatedly opposed any solution that involves a parade along the contested stretch of the Crumlin Road.
One of the loyalists opposed to a proposed deal in June this year was Gerald Solinas – a member of the Ballysillan lodge who was involved in setting up the protest camp, but not involved in the talks with Ardoyne residents.
Speaking to the News Letter earlier this month, he said he had submitted his resignation, along with seven other members, as he believed any deal would result in a token parade this time around but no evening parade on the Twelfth next year.
Their departure paved the way for the three lodges to present a united front at the negotiations with CARA.
Mr Solinas said: “We will have to beg their permission to walk back up the Crumlin Road. But this is a shared arterial route. I believe it is a basic human right and a civil and religious right and part of our culture to parade along it. We feel it [the deal] is a total sell out.”
A spokesperson for the Parades Commission responded to the News Letter report of September 9, saying it “recognises the challenges of engagement about parading in this locality, reflecting the complex relationship both between and within communities”.