A meeting of County Grand Orange Lodge of Belfast has taken place with representatives from the three Ligoniel Lodges affected by the Parades Commission attempt to deny them of their traditional ‘Twelfth’ celebrations, through the ludicrous decision insisting that they return past Ardoyne shop fronts by 4 pm.
In addition to the normal denial of rights and freedoms that the Parades Commission regularly impose, this impossible demand would deny these Brethren the opportunity to attend the Platform proceedings, including the religious service at Barnett Demesne. It would also see a parade return through the City Centre at a time when the Orange Institution and Belfast City Centre Management have worked for several years to maximise footfall for local traders. It is clear that the policing and traffic flow implications of this 4 o’clock deadline have not been thought through. We would therefore urge that common sense prevail and this ill conceived stipulation be changed.
All Belfast Districts pledge their full support to the Ligoniel lodges and thank the North and West Parades and Cultural Forum, the local community and politicians for their ongoing support and efforts to resolve this issue. Further meetings are planned to address this mess that the Parades Commission have yet again created.