Order tight-lipped on ‘stand-off deal’ claims

Camp Twaddell
Camp Twaddell

The Orange Order last night remained tight-lipped as speculation continued to mount that a deal had been struck that could see the end of the Twaddell Avenue stand-off in north Belfast.

A source from the area told the News Letter: “The deal is there. The word is they will be going up the road on Friday. But that is a long time away. A lot could happen.”

It is understood the Parade Commission’s ruling that the Whiterock parade could not pass through gates at Workman Avenue but proceed via the Invest NI site to the Springfield Road “almost cancelled any plans around Twaddell”.

“The Parades Commission are playing with fire on this,” added the source.

Before Saturday’s parade - which passed off peacefully - First Minister Arlene Foster spoke out to support a Belfast Orange lodge’s disagreement with the Parades Commission.

On June 24 the Greater Ardoyne Residents Collective posted on their Facebook page: “It has been confirmed that there is a “deal”, brokered by a Methodist minister previously involved in Sinn Fein initiatives.

“This deal is between the UVF and Sinn Fein. The UDA were unaware of these talks and have rejected the proposal.

“Orange Order District No.9 has also rejected the proposal, but have said they will leave it to the three “Ligoniel” lodges to decide their own course of action.

“Unlike others, GARC will keep the community fully informed as and when information becomes available.”