Group claims endorsement from locals on Twelfth march

GARC meeting discusses protest

By Gemma Burns

Radical Ardoyne residents’ group Greater Ardoyne Residents Collective (GARC) said the public meeting they held this week is an “endorsement” of their plan to parade in the area as a protest against the twelfth of July Orange Order march. The group held a public meeting in the Crumlin Star on Tuesday night to discuss their plan for the way forward in the parades dispute.

GARC has applied to the Parades Commission for permission to march from Ardoyne Avenue through Ardoyne on the same evening the Orange Order parade is due to return through the area.

The Parades Commission has yet to reach a determination on either march. Last year the parades body allowed the Orange Order to march past nationalist homes on the Crumlin Road and banned the GARC parade from moving onto the main road.

The march was followed by a night of violence in which local homes and vehicles were targeted by rioters.

Dee Fennell from GARC said they were pleased with the turn out at the meeting – which numbered over 100 – and said it endorses their plans although they were questioned by members of the audience on their mandate.

“The vast majority of people at the meeting supported the right to a protest march taking place and it was good to have the community support. We are glad we got the community endorsement at the public meeting.”

Some people at the meeting criticised GARC for planning their parade, saying it could lead to clashes between protestors and police.

They also asked where GARC had received support as many members of the audience hadn’t been consulted on the protest.

“The march will be marshalled and stewarded and we will also have a representative from the Irish Law and Democracy Committee observing both our parade and the Orange Order parade,” added Dee Fennel.

 

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