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Greater Ardoyne Residents Collective will oppose any return parade ‘compromise'

The Orange Order mark the 1000th day of protest at Twaddell Avenue. Picture by Declan Roughan

THE Greater Ardoyne Residents Collective have said any compromise to end the impasse at Twaddell that allows Orangemen to walk a contested section of the Crumlin Road will be met with "mass mobilisation" of residents.

On Thursday the Orange Order marked 1,000 days since the start of the loyalist protest in north Belfast.

To mark the event members of the three lodges, banned from walking the return route passed the nationalist flashpoint, held a parade to police lines at Twaddell.

Earlier in the day deputy grand master of the Orange Order Spencer Beattie said he was "optimistic" that the dispute could be resolved before the start of the marching season.

Holy Cross priest Fr Gary Donegan also said that the "moderate voice" of nationalism was prepared to countenance compromise.

However, GARC spokesman Dee Fennell, who is on bail accused of encouraging terrorism, said that an alternative route along an area called Harmony Lane was the only compromise that residents of Ardoyne would accept.

"There seems to be an undertone within the comments by clergy and Orangemen of a willingness to compromise.

"As far as residents are concerned the only compromise is Harmony Lane, that will enable the loyal orders to celebrate their culture without causing any offence", he said.

And he added that any financial cost to make the alternative route viable would be a fraction of the £19 million it has cost to police the Twaddell protest camp to date so far.

The Ardoyne republican said allowing a return parade after almost three years of protesting at the interface by loyalists would be "rewarding a three year long campaign of intimidation by the UVD and UDA".

"Any deal regardless of who brokers it, whether that be political parties or phantom community groups that involves the loyal orders being forced up the road will result in mass mobilisation of residents, as we have done in the past in opposition to these unwanted parades", he added.

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