Irish Republican News · April 5, 2013
[Irish Republican News]

[Irish Republican News]
IRISH REPUBLICAN NEWS: Loyalists march through republican areas without music
Loyalists march through republican areas without music

stpatricksabod.jpg

An early morning sectarian parade by loyalists through the republican Ardoyne passed off without incident as two nationalist groups held protests on Saturday.

Residents had complained that the parade, the first to pass the notorious flashpoint this year, had been granted permission despite the loyal orders refusing to even acknowledge an offer of talks.

There was a heavy PSNI presence in the Ardoyne area for the parade, one of the first of the Protestant marching season.

The British army bomb squad was called in to examine a suspicious device. Mysteriously, the PSNI at first claimed the device was “viable” but later retracted that, saying it was a hoax.

The alert caused a minor delay until the road was cleared with the march passing off peacefully shortly before 9am.

Nationalist residents from the Sinn Fein-aligned Crumlin Ardoyne Residents Association (CARA) held a protest as the Apprentice Boys accompanied by the Shankill Protestant Boys flute band paraded silently past the interface.

A second residents group, the Greater Ardoyne Residents Collective (GARC) also held a separate protest.

A small crowd of around 30 loyalists cheered as the Apprentice Boys reached the Crumlin Road roundabout.

Some local retailers complained that they were unable to get to their place of work because of the heavy policing operation. Residents of nearby Mountainview also said they were hemmed in to facilitate the march.

While the Orange Order lifted the ban on direct talks with residents last year to date no dialogue has taken place in relation to Ardoyne.

Sinn Fein assembly member Gerry Kelly said: “Given the tense few months that we have just experienced and with the summer fast approaching, the offer of dialogue between residents and the orange order should be taken up immediately.

“I would also call on unionist politicians to show leadership and also call for direct talks in order that a resolution can be found.”

Dee Fennell of GARC said that people in the area had lost all faith in the Parades Commission saying they were “totally discredited”.

“By allowing this march the parades commission have breached their own guidelines,” he said.

“What is the point in having a body adjudicate on parades when they can’t even follow their own rules.”

RESPECT?

Another flashpoint parade in nearby Carrick Hill also passed off without incident.

A decision to ban protesters, many of whom are parishioners at St Patrick’s church, from standing directly in front of the church sparked anger with residents and politicians.

Around 30 protesters held a banner nearby saying ‘Respect St Patrick’s Church’ as several PSNI members photographed and filmed the small group as the Apprentice Boys walked silently past.

Carrick Hill residents’ spokesman Frank Dempsey said the decision of the marchers not to play music was “a welcome development”.

© 2013 Irish Republican News