A decision by the parade’s commission to restrict again this year an Orange Order parade along a stretch of Belfast’s Springfield Road has “once again rewarded the intransigence of republicans.”
Responding to a determination from the Parades Commission on the Whiterock parade, which upholds the same restrictions as in recent years by preventing local lodges from passing through the peace line at Workman Avenue, a spokesman for No 9 District said its members are “appalled” at the ruling.
It is the third successive year the restrictions have been placed on the parade, due to take place this weekend.
“The officers and members of No. 9 District Lodge are appalled by the latest outrageous and ill-judged determination regarding their annual Whiterock parade,” the spokesperson said.
“It is clear that the Parades Commission has once again rewarded the intransigence of republicans.”
The spokesperson continued: No. 9 District has consistently abided by a series of unpalatable determinations for both the Whiterock parade and the Twelfth of July.
“Despite this latest setback, No. 9 District will continue to work with Belfast County Lodge, and our political representatives, to seek a just and equitable solution to the parading issue on the Springfield Road, in the interests of community relations. This determination does not provide that.”
A spokesperson for the Parades Commission said: “The conditions regarding the parade route are the same as those imposed in 2016 and 2017. “These are:
“No part of the parade may cross the peace line at the Workman Avenue security gates;
“The parade in its entirety is prohibited from processing that part of the route where it joins the Springfield Road at its junction with Workman Avenue. It shall instead proceed from Workman Avenue to Woodvale Avenue, and turn left from Woodvale Avenue on to the roadway through the Invest NI site. The parade shall join the Springfield Road by turning right at the junction of this roadway with the Springfield Road, and shall resume the remainder of its notified route from that point.”
The spokesperson continued: “Tensions around this parade continue to centre on the Springfield Road. In the absence of a local accommodation the Commission has had regard to the parade’s potential for public disorder, and the potential impacts upon community relations and community life.
“The Commission has determined, therefore, that a number of conditions should apply to this parade, including a restriction on part of its notified route.
“The Commission has considered all information and representations received in relation to this parade, and is satisfied that the conditions imposed are necessary, proportionate and fair.”
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