A nationalist resident is to mount a legal action against the appointment of two members of the Protestant Orange Order to the North’s Parades Commission.
The development comes as the body prepares to issue its first ruling on the contentious weekly Drumcree parade by Portadown Orangemen.
One of the marchers, the former Portadown district master David Burrows, is a new member of the Parades Commission.
The former Portadown district master is expected to attend a commission meeting in the next two weeks to decide if Orangemen will be allowed to march down the nationalist Garvaghy Road in Portadown on Sunday January 29.
Although the weekly protest march is more low-key compared to the summer’s Drumcree parade -- both which have been consistently banned from the nationalist Garvaghy Road -- it is being viewed as the body’s first major test.
The make-up of the newly-appointed body has been strongly criticised by the residents of the Garvaghy Road, who have endured major confrontations with the Protestant marching orders.
Breandan MacCionnaith confirmed that a resident has been granted legal aid to challenge the British government over the appointments.
“I would say the papers for that will be lodged prior to any decision being made by this new commission,” he said.
“It is to do with the imbalance within the Parades Commission. The legislation which set up the Parades Commission was very clear, that it had to be representative of the community in the six counties. Having two Orangemen from an organisation which claims its membership is about 50,000, could be viewed as not being in compliance with what was stated in the legislation.”
The ‘Love Ulster’ parade, being held by unionist hardliners in Dublin city centre, has been given the go ahead for February 25th.
The route has yet to be agreed, but one possible route is from O’Connell Street to the Dublin parliament, where unionist politicians and others are to address the crowd.
At least 1,000 Union Jack-waving Orangemen and supporters and six ‘kick-the-pope- bands are to attend the parade, which is expected to see a protest by hardline republicans.
Among those to address the crowd will be Paisleyite MP Jeffrey Donaldson.