20 May 2006

Dialogue set to ease tensions ahead of Tour of the North


With this year’s Tour of North Orange parade only four weeks away the Ardoyne Parades Dialogue Group has embarked on a series of meetings with groups and individuals right across the community.
Two years ago, the route took Orangemen along part of nationalist Duncairn Gardens where intense rioting erupted.
The Ardoyne group is currently involved in dialogue with the loyalist North and West Parades Forum. But group spokesperson Joe Marley said the most important dialogue of all was with the local community.
“We are striving to achieve a resolution to the issue of contentious parades on the Crumlin Road, but a key part of our work in recent weeks has been ongoing consultation with the people of Ardoyne and in particular with the people most affected by the violence associated with the aftermath of the loyalist parades,” Joe Marley said.
“We have already met with local youth providers and with residents from Mountainview, the Dales and the Crumlin Road.
“In recent weeks too we have begun to canvas the views of young people in the area about their attitudes to Orange marches.
“The community has a collective responsibility to ensure that our young people do not get caught up in senseless violence which achieves nothing.
“We will be calling on everyone, parents, youth leaders, teachers, clergy, community workers and the political parties, to play their part in ensuring the safety of our children.”
The APDG spokesman said the group would continue to call on the loyal orders to enter into dialogue with residents.
“The APDG will continue to fight for the rights of the local community to be recognised by the loyal orders but our approach is based on dialogue and peaceful protest. We do not want to see young people get caught up in the sort of thing that happened last year in June and July and which set back all attempts to achieve a resolution. We will be meeting with young people, engaging with local schools and youth providers in a bid to get everyone working together.

Journalist:: Áine McEntee

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