Tag Archives: Orange Order

12th parades begin peacefully

Orange Order parades have begun peacefully, the BBC reports.

There were no incidents as a feeder parade passed a sectarian flashpoint at shops in Ardoyne in north Belfast. … Chief Constable George Hamilton said:

“I’m optimistic, but it’s a cautious optimism and I’m just hoping that people take responsibility for their own actions and they need to understand that, as I’ve said throughout the past couple of weeks, the police will do our piece to keep people safe and also to collect evidence where people step outside of the law.”

The Irish Times reports that the Police Service of Northern Ireland is deploying 3,500 officers, with about one third deployed to north Belfast hot spots. After several years of relative calm, loyalist violence erupted last July when Orangemen were banned by the Parades Commission from returning home past the Ardoyne shops. The commission decision was upheld this year.

Here’s a good background piece about “Orangeism,” also from the BBC. By the way, that “L.O.L” on their banners refers to Loyal Orange Lodge, not laughing out loud.

Here we go again: marching season in Northern Ireland

It’s July, and that means Orange parade season in Northern Ireland.

The trouble has already begun as the two main unionist parties walked out of talks at Stormont after the Parades Commission banned Orangemen from marching by a republican area of north Belfast on 12 July.  The Guardian reports there are renewed fears that serious street disorder will break out in the coming days over the ban.

[Northern Ireland Secretary Theresa] Villiers said: “The last thing Northern Ireland needs is any kind of public disorder which could put police officers at risk of injury or worse and which would damage Northern Ireland’s reputation abroad and undermine efforts to attract jobs and investment. Any reaction or protest needs to be both peaceful and lawful, as called for by unionist leaders in their statement today. “

Here’s the full statement from five unionist leaders, including Northern Ireland First Minister Peter Robinson. We will see what happens, but in Northern Ireland in July, it usually isn’t anything good.

An Orange Order parade. Image from rte.ie.

An Orange Order parade. Image from rte.ie.