Irish Republican News · June 3, 2005
[Irish Republican News]

[Irish Republican News]
Parading illegality

International observers have highlighted systematic violations of rulings on parades by the Protestant Orange Order.

The PSNI and Parades Commission are condemned for failing to prevent loyalist displays during coat-trailing marches through Catholic communities in Belfast last year.

A delegation from the US-based Brehon Law Society and the Irish Parades Emergency Committee monitored a number of parades last summer.

In their report, Law and Lawlessness: Orange Parades in Northern Ireland, they said they were disappointed by a failure of the Orange Order, Parades Commission and police to “prevent the promotion of loyalist paramilitaries in parades through communities that have borne the brunt of their sectarian attacks”.

It cited a leading member of the unionist paramilitary UDA and hundreds of other loyalists being brought through the Ardoyne area of north Belfast after a July 12 parade, sparking serious violence between residents and police and British soldier, as well as displays of paramilitary flags and emblems at parades in east and north Belfast.

The delegation, which included members from the US, Italy and France, also criticised “hypocrisy of mainstream unionists and orangemen for participating [alongside loyalist leaders] in the North and West Belfast Parades Forum, while refusing to serve in government with Sinn Féin”.

Spokesman Sean Cahill said: “Since 1998 the overwhelming majority of terrorist shootings and assaults have been done by loyalist paramilitaries.

“Many of those killed by loyalists are innocent Catholics killed just for being Catholic or Irish.

“For these reasons, British security forces and unionist leaders should not be facilitating loyalist displays in Catholic and nationalist neighbourhoods.”

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© 2005 Irish Republican News