Belfast Orange mayor makes call for parades solution

Brian Kingston has been a Belfast councillor since 2010
Brian Kingston has been a Belfast councillor since 2010

Belfast Lord Mayor Brian Kingston has hailed the non-violent nature of the Twelfth evening at Belfast’s notorious Twaddell interface.

The DUP councillor, who was elevated to the position of Lord Mayor earlier this year, is a member of the Orange Order and the Royal Black Institution.

Last year he had been at present the protest line at Twaddell as loyalists unleashed ugly scenes of disorder.

He was on parade in north Belfast during the Twelfth on Tuesday, and said: “I must commend community representatives on both sides who played a helpful role in keeping things calm and they liaised with police – as I did – and over an hour and a half I was there, people increasingly drifted away and there was nothing thrown.”

Mr Kingston said there was one incident where unionist young people were walking up the Crumlin Road beyond the Ardoyne shops and had to run when a group of nationalists ran towards them.

However, on the whole he said that he was “pleased that there were no attacks at the [Twaddell] roundabout” and was “glad that this has been a much more positive end to the Twelfth of July in North Belfast.”

He added: “We still have to get a resolution enabling the three Ligoniel lodges and bands to go home at the end of the day.

“That still needs to be found and I don’t think it’s desirable that we have a situation where those lodges coming from Ballysillan are allowed to parade down, but aren’t allowed to parade back in any circumstances.

“I believe that efforts will continue to find a resolution.”