Stating the problem: 1)The Orange Order and their supporters insist Orange Marches continue past and through Ardoyne, arguing that they follow “traditional”parade routes.It’s a main road and they claim they have the right to march on the Queen’s Highway.
Comment: Orange Order marches are so popular in Belfast that they often need riot police as escorts!
2) The people of Ardoyne do not want them in their area. They say the marches are triumphalist and offensive. Residents are barricaded into their streets by Police and Army for several hours each time they occur: in the morning when the march goes by and again in the evening when it returns. Local residents believe this to be a breach of their human rights. The Police Ombudsman agrees. The practice continues.
Comment: It’s “traditional”.
A working class, mainly Catholic, Irish Nationalist/Republican district in north Belfast, Northern Ireland.
- *1969: Catholic houses houses in Ardoyne were burnt out by Loyalist mobs
- *1969 – 1998: *99 ordinary people (8 women) from Ardoyne were killed.
- *the per capita equivalent of 50,000 people in LA.*The state was ultimately directly responsible for 26 deaths, 28% of the total. Loyalists killed 50 (just over 50%). The IRA was responsible for 9 deaths (roughly 9%), the ‘Official’ IRA for 1 and the INLA for 3. The youngest victim was Anthony McDowell, aged 12, shot dead by the British army on April 19, 1973, and the oldest was Elizabeth McGregor, aged 76, shot dead by the British army on January 12, 1973.
- *often relatives have never been told ‘the truth’ about the death of their loved one. Many speak of a brutal system that treated ordinary people with contempt and colluded to ensure lack of disclosure, accountability and justice
- * 2001-2002 Holy Cross protest in which you can see one of the hallmarks of Orangeism/Loyalism in action:They attack Catholic children
2013: the NI Parades Commission banned the evening return Orange Order march, which led to severe rioting, followed by the illegal Twadell Avenue Orange protest camp, with nightly Orange marches. After 3 years they were still there, costing almost £24,000 every day to police (estimated total cost £20 million).
This week the Crumlin Ardoyne Residents Association (CARA), a Sinn Fein grouping signed an agreement with the Orange Order and Loyalists allowing them to march “home” on October 1st 2016,
Comment: So they got what they wanted!
and kind removal of their illegal camp, followed by a “moratorium” on return parades.CARA no longer opposes morning Orange Order marches.
Queries: Will the Agreement reinforce the sectarian bigotry which is prevalent in a certain mindset?
Will it allow the Orange Order and Loyalists to act with greater impunity in the future?
TheAgreement has been backed by local politicians, as well as the British and Irish governments.
It’s the Greater Ardoyne Residents Collective.
After an independent survey showed 85% of the Ardoyne residents didn’t want Orange Order marches, GARC want to :
GARC and their hundreds of supporters are annoyed because they weren’t involved in (even deliberately excluded from?) the talks leading up to the Agreement.
Therefore their views counted for nothing.
In their protest march this evening the Parades Commission forbade them from walking onto the Ardoyne Road and out onto the Crumlin Road.
Here’s a periscope video of tonight’s GARC march in Ardoyne
1) Allowing residents to march in protest only up and down their own streets indicates a repressive policy, which
2) re-echoes the breach of their human rights as they are hemmed into their houses to permit Orange parades to pass by. Now they are hemmed into their own streets if they want to protest.
3) The refusal to consider the sensitivities and views of a large number of Ardoyne people, considering what they have gone through since 1969 right up to the Holy Cross Loyalist protests, does not indicate “parity of esteem”.
4) Letting people know their views don’t count humilitates them. Has a modern version of “Croppies lie down” been played out in Ardoyne?
5) Since GARC’s banner shows they are against Sinn Fein policy, it looks like Sinn Fein will haemorrhage hundreds of votes in Ardoyne. Presumably they have factored that into whatever their hopes are at forthcoming elections.One thing is sure – they’ll not pick up votes from the Orange Order!
PS GARC intend to protest the Orange Order return march early Saturday morning.The Parades Commission has limited GARC to 60 participants .
To facilitate the orange order “home” march, approximately 600 PSNI in riot gear were deployed at entry points in the nationalist area alongside armoured land rovers and crush barriers while a police helicopter hovered overhead.
GARC spokesman Dee Fennell said: “We have seen hundreds of PSNI officers caging in this community in order to facilitate an unwanted sectarian parade. The vast majority of residents have rejected all sectarian parades and we have seen a heavy military operation which defeats the notion that there is widespread community support for this deal.”