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Last Updated: Friday, 5 August 2005, 21:39 GMT 22:39 UK
Apprentice Boys parade is banned
The Apprentice Boys march was due to take place next weekend
The Apprentice Boys march was due to take place next weekend
The Apprentice Boys have been told that their march through a flashpoint area of north Belfast has been banned.

The Parades Commission said a parade through Ardoyne would have "an adverse effect on fragile community relations".

The commission said there was potential for public disorder if the parade took place at Ardoyne shops next week.

Apprentice Boys spokesman Tommy Cheevers said the decision was a direct consequence of nationalist rioting at an Orange march in Ardoyne on 12 July.

He said he was "totally gutted" by the decision.

"There has to be give and take - that is the problem," he said.

"We can't get talking to anyone who is prepared to tolerate us."

The governor of the Apprentice Boys, William Allen, said the move undermined attempts to bring divided communities together.

"I feel sad for the Apprentice Boys in Belfast," he said.

"I think people have got to learn that if they want respect for their culture and their community, they will have to learn to respect ours."

Ulster Unionist parades spokesman Michael Copeland described the commission's decision as "absolutely scandalous".

Sinn Fein assembly member Cathy Stanton said banning the parade was the "only logical decision".

SDLP assembly member Alban Maginness welcomed the decision.

"This was the right decision and the only decision that is in the best interests of community relations in north Belfast," he said.

The government-appointed Parades Commission was set up in 1997 to make decisions on whether controversial parades should be restricted.

Parade passes without incident
14 Aug 04 |  Northern Ireland
Marchers 'will abide by ruling'
13 Aug 04 |  Northern Ireland
Parties hold parade discussions
04 Aug 05 |  Northern Ireland

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