Orange Order parades in Northern Ireland to be restricted this July 7 months ago

Orange Order parades in Northern Ireland to be restricted this July

One parade wanted to pass through the Catholic area of Ardoyne, whilst another sought to take a route it had not taken in over 25 years.

Northern Ireland's Parades Commission has placed restrictions on two Orange Order parades planned for July the 12th.


One parade had applied to pass through Ardoyne in North Belfast, a predominately Catholic area. This request was denied by the Commission who sighted the "potential" for serious public disorder if the route was taken.

This decision from the Parades Commission comes off the back of a similar one, in which they ruled a march in Portadown could not take place.

A 3,000 person parade had been planned for the Garvaghy Road area of the town, but plans were quashed due to the potential negative impact on cross-community relations.

The parade had been organised larger than usual as the Order sought to commemorate the 25th anniversary of if it being stopped from taking its preferred route through the town.


Orange Order parades The annual July Orange Order parades ratchet tensions in Northern Ireland between Protestant and Catholic communities. (Credit: Getty Images)

Ardoyne Parade a "breach of agreement":

In refusing a request from North Belfast's Ligoniel Lodge, the Parades Commission stated that allowing the march to proceed through Ardoyne would be a "breach of agreement".


The agreement in question was brought about in 2016, when it was agreed that parades would avoid the Ardoyne area to prevent increased tensions and trouble.

Announcing their decision, the Commission stipulated that the Order's march must stop at Woodvale Parade before reaching Ardoyne itself.

It is the second time in recent years that the Ligoniel Lodge has applied to march through the Catholic area, with the request denied on both occasions.

The applications served to "only heighten tensions in a period of political instability", according to the Parades Commission.


It also added that these applications have endangered the "peaceful co-existence of two communities with a difficult history".

Similarly, the parade along Garvaghy Road has not taken place since the late 90's due to ensuing violence it caused.

The Parades Commission, which was set up off the back of clashes along the road in 1997, ruled that despite the Orange Order's wishes, their march must avoid taking the route.

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