25 June 2005

BBC

Orange parade in city postponed

The Orange Order Whiterock parade has been suspended

A contentious Orange Order parade scheduled to take place in Belfast on Saturday has been postponed.

The decision to call off the Whiterock parade was announced by the North and West Belfast Parades Forum following a meeting on Friday.

The forum has said a protest parade will be held in the Shankill instead.

Earlier this week, the Parades Commission rejected two applications for it to reverse its decision to impose restrictions on the parade.

The forum represents a wide range of unionist-loyalist-Orange opinion.

Forum spokesman Tommy Cheevers described recent events as "a deliberate attempt to humiliate and demean" the loyalist community.

"Lies about the different processes of dialogue in which we have engaged have been told by Sinn Fein representatives," he said.

"As a result the suspension of all cross community contact has begun."

'Emotive issues'

He also called on the government to review the role of the Parades Commission.

The Orange Order wants to go through Workman Avenue, off the mainly nationalist Springfield Road, but has been ordered by the commission to go though the former Mackies factory site.

The commission has said it could not review its original ruling as it has not received any new information.

The commission said its ruling last week was a "genuine attempt to manage the many difficult and emotive issues" surrounding this year's Whiterock parade.

It said it wanted to "accommodate the concerns of the parade organisers and residents".

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


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