02 September 2005

City parade re-routing criticised

BBC


Previous Whiterock parade some years back

The decision to route a postponed Orange Order parade through a disused factory site has been criticised.

The Whiterock parade was delayed by the Order in June, in protest at putting it through the former Mackies site instead of allowing it through Workman Avenue.

North Belfast DUP MP Nigel Dodds said the Parades Commission's decision to re-route it caused him "anguish".

Nationalist Springfield Road residents had opposed the parade, due to take place next Saturday.

In its determination on the parade the commission cites a possible adverse effect on community relations if the march was allowed on the Order's preferred route.

"The commission has cause to believe that should the parade process the entirety of its notified route, there will be an adverse effect on community relations and a potential for public disorder," it said.

Mr Dodds said the decision "rewarded intransigence and the threat of violence".

"Over the summer the Orange Order and others have displayed absolutely no violence or provocation," he said.

"The Order and its followers have been subjected to intense violent attacks but have not even responded in time."

He said the effort to achieve this was being "cast aside by the Parades Commission through this disgraceful decision".

The Orange Order has said that it will not comment on the ruling until after it has met to discuss it.

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