Parades Commission ruling must be upheld

Alliance north Belfast spokesperson John Blair has said a Parades Commission ruling on an Orange Order parade in the Ardoyne area, set to take place this Friday, must be upheld.

Mr Blair was speaking after the Parades Commission determined Orangemen cannot walk on a stretch of the Crumlin Road where the Ardoyne shops are situated – the scene of increased violence in recent years.

Councillor John Blair said: “As it stands the Parades Commission is the only body recognised by law able to make decisions on where parades can and cannot take place. It is for this reason this ruling must be upheld and full support given to the police.

“It is essential that elected representatives ensure their words and actions over the next few days leave no room for those who might take advantage of heightened tensions to see them as an endorsement of law-breaking.

“In May this year extensive talks took place in Cardiff, with the outcome seeing all groups involved give a clear commitment to helping the PSNI uphold the rule of law. The next few days will be a test as to who was serious in their support for the police.

“Alliance believes everyone has the right to celebrate their culture in a peaceful and respectful way and I would appeal for all groups involved to work to ensure a repeat of last year’s violence is avoided.”

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