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Last year’s breaches ignored

By Staff Reporter

No action was taken by either the PSNI or the Public Prosecution Service (PPS) against the organisers of last summer’s loyal order parades through Ardoyne despite a series of breaches to the Parades Commission’s rulings.

Both the police and PPS confirmed to the North Belfast News this week that the parade organisers will not face any punishment despite the Orange Order Twelfth parade and the August Royal Black Preceptory parade flouting the Parades Commission’s own determination.

The Parades Commission had ruled in July 2011 that the Orange Order parade could go past nationalist homes in Ardoyne, however no music including a drum beat was to be played, that flags must remain furled and no bannerettes on show at that stage of the march. After an eleventh hour U-turn the day before the contentious parade, the commission ruled that the only flag that could remain unfurled was the Union Jack, but all other flags must not be flying freely. However during the morning parade a drumbeat was used and a massive banner saying ‘Republicanism = Cultural Apartheid’ led the parade. On the return parade a bannerette was used and an Ulster flag and Orange Order flag was flying.

Despite the Parades Commission sending a file with the breaches to the PSNI, police confirmed this week that they would not be taking it further.

“Following a full review of evidence of the parade in Ardoyne on 12 July 2011, no offences were detected. Therefore there was no need for a file to be sent to the PPS,” said a police spokesman.

A report was also sent to police regarding breaches of the Royal Black Preceptory parade on August 27 last year. The PSNI then sent the file to the PPS, who ruled there was “insufficient evidence” to prosecute. “Two individuals were reported to the PPS by PSNI in relation to breaches of a Parades Commission’s determination in North Belfast on 27 August 2011,” said a PPS spokesman.

“After careful consideration of all the available evidence it was concluded that there was insufficient evidence to met the Test for Prosecution.”


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