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Tuesday, 9 July, 2002, 07:45 GMT 08:45 UK
Criticism over parade decisions
Orangemen parade in Belfast
The parades are the highlight of the Orange Order calendar
A decision to restrict an Orange Order parade in south Belfast later this week has been criticised by the district master of Ballynafeigh Orange Lodge.

The Northern Ireland Parades Commission, which rules on contentious marches in the province ruled on Monday that the Orange Order will not be allowed to march along the mainly nationalist Lower Ormeau Road on 12 July.

However, two contentious marches in the north and west of the city have been allowed to proceed.

The marches are all taking place on Friday 12 July, the biggest day in the Orange Order's marching season.


This has given the residents a shield with which to hide behind and made the situation of moving it forward in a more positive manner more difficult to achieve

Noel Liggett Ballynafeigh Orange Lodge

District master Noel Liggett accused the commission of failing the wider community and said he was disappointed by the decision but not surprised.

"We have seen the way the commission has operated over the years," he said.

"It has become indeed part of the problem by the way it has endorsed the residents' stance with regards to parades.

Restrictions

"This has given them a shield with which to hide behind and made the situation of moving it forward in a more positive manner more difficult to achieve."

Meanwhile, Sinn Fein has criticised a decision to allow a Twelfth feeder parade to go ahead in north Belfast.

The parade, which passes the nationalist Ardoyne area in north Belfast, has had some restrictions placed on it.

Riots followed last year's parade at Ardoyne
Riots followed last year's parade at Ardoyne

Bands will not be permitted to play music when they pass the nationalist area.

Councillor Margaret McClenaghan said she had hoped it would start at a different point.

"We asked the commission when we spoke to them not to permit this parade to walk down past the area of Ardoyne where the front shops are at the top of the road," she said.

Trouble broke out after the march passed on its return route last year.

Police officers were attacked by nationalists as they secured the route for the Orangemen to pass.

A parade that passes along a nationalist part of the Springfield Road in west Belfast has also been allowed to proceed.

Fireworks

An Orange Order march along the road last month ended in a riot, with nationalists staging a running battle with police.

Water cannon was used to disperse the rioters before police withdrew from the area.

The Northern Ireland Parades Commission was set up in 1997 to make decisions on whether controversial parades should be restricted.

The 12 July parades celebrate the most important date in the Orange Order's calendar - the 1690 defeat of Catholic King James by Protestant Prince William of Orange at the Battle of the Boyne.

 WATCH/LISTEN
 ON THIS STORY
BBC NI's Shane Glynn:
"The parades commission have given permission for Orangemen to pass Ardoyne shops"
Noel Liggett, Ballynafeigh Orange Lodge:
"The parades commission is part of the problem"
Margaret McClenaghan, Sinn Fein councillor:
"We asked the commission not to permit this contentious parade"
Find out more about the Drumcree dispute in Northern Ireland

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08 Jul 02 | N Ireland
12 Jul 01 | N Ireland
11 Jul 01 | N Ireland
12 Jul 00 | N Ireland
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