Developments in the past week have laid encouraging foundations for the end of the parading issue in North Belfast, according to a spokesman for the Crumlin Ardoyne Residents’ Association (CARA).
Joe Marley was speaking after CARA held a meeting on Wednesday night to discuss the fall-out from the collapse of talks on Tuesday convened to bring a resolution to the Camp Twaddell impasse.
But while there’s disappointment that a breakthrough could not be made, Joe said he believed there have been significant steps forward.
“I’m not getting into recriminations,” he said. “I would say that the template has been produced that will address the parading issue in a holistic way. It’s unfortunate we came so close to getting a resolution but definite progress has been made and we need to secure that. We now have a basis for moving forward and there is positivity about that.”
A deal that would have seen the Orange Lodges walk past nationalist houses on the Crumlin Road on Friday morning (July 1) and the Twaddell Camp removed had been negotiated by Methodist Minister Harold Goode and Derry businessman Jim Roddy. But the plans were scuppered when Ballysillan LOL 1891 – one of three who say they have been unable to ‘return home’ after the 2013 July 12th parade was restricted by the Parades Commission – walked away from the deal. Gerard Solinas, a senior member of the UDA-linked UPRG, holds a senior role in the lodge.
Opposition from the Greater Ardoyne Residents’ Collective (GARC) was also expressed and members of that group leafleted Mountainview and the Dales on Wednesday outlining their opposition to any solution that doesn’t see a rerouting of the parade through Forth River and Harmony Lane before joining the Crumlin Road close to Ballysillan. The North Belfast News understands that no further talks will take place until after this year’s Twelfth but after that negotiations will begin again.
Meanwhile, a July 1 Battle of the Somme commemoration parade passing Carrick Hill has been heavily restricted by the Parades Commission. The Thiepval Memorial LOL 1916 will not be allowed any supporters as it passes the nationalist area and bands will have to play a single drumbeat from the junction of Westlink and Clifton Street and the junction of Union Street and Donegall Street.