Sinn Fein objects to new Orange parade

Prince Charles shakes hands with Sinn Fein's Gerry Kelly during his visit to Belfast on Tuesday. Photo: Simon Graham.
Prince Charles shakes hands with Sinn Fein's Gerry Kelly during his visit to Belfast on Tuesday. Photo: Simon Graham.

Sinn Fein says it met with the Parades Commission today to object to an application by a newly constituted Orange Lodge to parade through what the party said was a mixed area of North Belfast.

It is understood the parade relates to one planned by Loyal Orange Order Cavehill Temperance LOL 1956 for the morning of 12 July.

According to the commission website, the lodge has applied to start the first leg of its 15 minutes parade at 7.45am, proceeding via Kilcoole Gardens and Kilcoole Park. It is proposing 70 participants be accompanied by Harthill Loyalists Flute Band.

Speaking after meeting the commission on Wednesday, Sinn Fein MLA Gerry Kelly said: “We made​ the Parades Commission ​aware that the parade applied for was very contentious as it ran through a mixed residential area and there have already been a significant number of objections from residents.

“There has never been an Orange parade in this area and we have received several calls and emails from residents worried ​and angered ​by this development.”

The Orange Order has declined to make any comment. The commission is to make a decision on the parade on 20 June.

Only 24 hours before meeting the commission, Mr Kelly and Sinn Fein’s former culture minister Caral Ni Chuilin were shaking hands with Prince Charles during his visit to Belfast. The theme of his visit, taking in Omagh, Cork and Kerry, was reconciliation, he said.

Meanwhile, Sinn Fein has revealed that it is inviting rival party leaders to the launch of a new initiative on sectarianism. Party president Mary Lou McDonald will be in Belfast on Monday June 25 to unveil the party’s latest drive against religious hatred, which she described as a “scourge on our societal and political landscape”.