Assembly recalled over Ardoyne parade ban


The Assembly has been recalled to discuss the Parades Commission’s determination in respect of the Ardoyne Twelfth parade.

MLAs will be in the chamber next Tuesday to debate the ban on the Ligoniel lodges walking past a section of the Crumlin Road that includes the Ardoyne shopfronts.

The plenary session will begin at noon and will discuss a motion in respect of “the impact of a determination issued by the Parades Commission on July 9 on building a shared future”.

Calling for the Assembly recall, First Minister Peter Robinson said the Ardoyne decision was “illogical” and would be seen by many as “rewarding riotous behaviour by dissident republicans last July”. Mr Robinson said: “This debate will provide the opportunity to examine why it is that some feel the need to oppose the sharing of roads and to support tactics which ultimately disregard respect for the culture of those from the unionist community. Continued refusal to tolerate the passing of a short parade fuels the view that nationalists and republicans have little interest in building a genuinely respectful and tolerant society.”

The DUP leader said his party could not support a shared future if the loyal orders were excluded and added: “Despite the illogical nature of the determination issued by the commission we appeal to all concerned to use every possible influence over the next few days to ensure a peaceful and dignified Twelfth holiday period and to uphold the rule of law in Northern Ireland.”

The motion to be debated on Tuesday reads: “This Assembly: Notes the lawful but illogical determination issued by the Parades Commission on 9th July in relation to the application by the three Ligoniel Orange Lodges for a parade in Belfast on July 12, 2013; Notes the consequences of the determination and its outworking in that attempts to build a shared future have been harmed by the actions of those who oppose the concept of sharing space and respecting cultural identity; And calls not only for respect for the rule of law to be upheld but also for respect and tolerance to be shown for everyone’s cultural identity.”