'Boys' To Pass Ardoyne On Derry Road

A loyal order feeder parade by the Apprentice Boys will be allowed to pass the nationalist Ardoyne shops on the main Crumlin Road in Belfast next weekend.

However, a contentious lodge, the ABOD Ligoniel Walker Club were told by the Parades Commission yesterday that they are not permitted to march with a band.

They will also not walk the return parade after returning from the Closing of the Gate celebrations in Londonderry on Saturday, December 4.

The determination, which was issued yesterday after intensive meetings this week, came after the Ardoyne residents' group CARA campaigned to prevent the feeder parade, which is set to pass the Ardoyne shops around dawn, at 8am.

While CARA claimed the parade is a "deliberate attempt to stoke up tensions within the community" local SDLP Councillor Nichola Mallon (pictured) said: "The decision not to allow the deliberately offensive Shankill Star Flute Band which commemorates UVF Killer Brian Robinson to pass through Ardoyne and the home of one of his victims is to be welcomed.

"However the fact remains that the North & West Belfast Parades Forum continues to refuse to engage in any genuine and meaningful dialogue with residents.

"It is only by genuine, respectful and meaningful local dialogue that any lasting solution to the issue of contentious Parades can come about," she insisted.

"This dialogue needs to begin now and I would urge parade organisers and community, religious, civic and political leaders to encourage, facilitate and participate in this dialogue. Otherwise I fear the violent scenes of the 12th of July will not remain consigned to history," the SDLP politician warned.

The Apprentice Boys will parade from Crumlin Road, Woodvale Road and Shankill Road to Battenburg Street where they will board a bus to Londonderry for the Closing of the Gate celebrations - one of the two major events on the calendar for the Apprentice Boys.


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