A new bid by the Orange Order to march along the Crumlin Road later his month has been slammed by nationalist politicians and the local residents group, CARA.
Notification was sent to the Parades Commission this week by No. 1 District Loyal Orange Lodge for the parade - involving three bands and up to 350 people - to take place on Sunday, September 28 at 2pm.
The parade, which has never taken place before, has been organised to commemorate the signing of the Ulster Covenant which took place on September 28, 1912.
The route applied for starts on the Shankill Road and finishes at Ligoniel Orange Hall. SDLP MLA Alban Maginness described it as a “proxy parade” to allow the protesters at Camp Twaddell to complete their July 12, 2013 parade which they say has been prevented from returning.
“I see this as a proxy parade for the return, thinly described as a normal parade. This is unprecedented because there hasn’t been an Ulster Covenant parade along that route and it seems to me to be another way of trying to get up the road without officially saying so.
“What I think is that in the context of a relatively peaceful marching season, this is not a good initiative by the Orange. I think instead of burning bridges, which they are doing here, they should be building bridges.”
A spokesman for CARA said the march application was “provocative”.
“This is the Orange upping the ante and they are trying to put pressure on the residents. There can be no resolution without dialogue, but resolution is possible if they come back to the table.”
Sinn Féin Councillor Gerard McCabe also questioned the motives behind the parade.
“This application for a parade through Ardoyne is unnecessary, unhelpful and unwelcome. It’s designed to increase tensions and does nothing to achieve a resolution to the parading issue.
“Resolution can only be found through dialogue and they need to get around the table as soon as possible.”
No one from the Orange Order was available for comment when contacted.