Orange Lodge condemns Parades Commission decision on Belfast Centenary Parade, saying it creates a ‘no go’ Protestant zone

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A lodge in North Belfast Orange condemned the decision to ban a district centenary parade from entering the Kilcoole area – insisting the Parade Commission determination has led to “immense anger” .

he lodge said the determination has effectively created “a ‘no go’ zone for Protestants in a community where the majority are supporters of Orange traditions and culture.”

District No.4 issued a statement via the Orange Order on Friday, saying the parade body had “shown contempt for the traditions and heritage of our community” by imposing the condition of the event. .

The parade, which takes place on Saturday, features three groups Ballysillan Volunteers, Pride of Ardoyne and Cloughfern Young Conquerors.

A parade in 2018 was also the subject of a dispute on the course.

According to the website of the Parade Commission, around 500 people are expected to participate in the parade, which it called “sensitive”.

The parade is scheduled to start at 3:00 p.m. from Wheatfield Drive and will disperse from the Ballysillan Recreation Center parking lot at 4:15 p.m.

However, the Commission banned the parade from going beyond Joanmount Gardens and said “sensitive parts of the notified route are identified as Kilcoole Park, Rosscoole Park and Mountcoole Park”.

“The Commission has already made rulings on parades dealing with these areas, and the history of parades in the region is well documented,” he continued.

“Kilcoole Park is one of two entry routes into a mixed residential area, variably described by many residents as a ‘neutral zone’, a ‘peaceful and mixed zone’ and a ‘quiet zone’ .

The committee noted that there had been parades in the area in the past, “generally for the notified purpose of” flying the banner “at the master’s home” and that members of the Orange Lodges “reside in the area. Kilcoole area “.

He also insisted that he had received “both written and oral” objections to the parade “from a wide range of parties concerned, indicating that the area is a quiet mixed neighborhood.”

“The commission was, however, informed of persistent community tensions in the region,” added the organization.

In response, members of District 4 said he condemned in the “strongest terms possible the decision,” accusing the Commission of creating a “no-go” zone for Protestants.

“By banning the procession from entering Kilcoole, the commissioners have shown contempt for the traditions and heritage of our community,” they said.

“This has led to immense anger among the local residents. The overwhelming majority of Kilcoole’s residents are Protestants and Unionists, with many members of the institution and their families living in the community.”

Their statement added: “We do not claim Kilcoole as our own, acknowledging that there are a small number of residents of different tradition. However, we expect that where such a shared society exists, the traditions and values ​​of the overwhelming majority of residents will be respected.

“This determination creates unnecessary community divisions and tensions by effectively creating a lawless zone for Protestants in a community where the majority are said to be supporters of Orange traditions and culture.”

The district said that “the heinous decision is simply wrong, defies logic and flies in the face of natural justice.”

“The Parade Commission always bases its decisions on unfair legislation,” she said.

“We call once again for the resignation of the commissioners, the dissolution of the Parade Commission and the removal of the relevant legislation.

“We would like to thank the community for the support we have received so far and look forward to a day when we can once again live in a shared space.”

The Parade Commission has been contacted for further comments.

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