Orange parade through a mixed area of north Belfast passes off peacefully

The Orange Order parade was held through Kilcoole Park and Kilcoole Gardens. Picture by Matt Bohill
Brendan Hughes

AN ORANGE Order 'floating the banner' parade through a mixed area that had prompted concerns from residents was held yesterday in north Belfast.

The procession through Kilcoole Park and Kilcoole Gardens was held to deliver a banner to the home of the Cavehill lodge's 'incoming master'.

Some residents had raised concerns, saying there had never been a parade of this type before and claiming it was being orchestrated to cause division.

But the Parades Commission allowed the march to take place without imposing conditions, saying that restrictions were "not necessary or proportionate".

Around 70 participants were scheduled to take part in the 7pm procession, which travelled along Joanmount Gardens, Ballysillan Road, Kilcoole Park and Kilcoole Gardens.

The Parades Commission said it had "received substantial representation from residents".

It said there had been parades in 2016 and 2013, but this was the first application from a "recently re-established" lodge.

The commission said organisers had assured it that steps were taken "in good faith" by the lodge to address residents' concerns, including a shortening the parade route and a leaflet drop informing residents about the parade's purpose.

"As the worshipful master's role rotates every year, the route of the 'floating the banner' parade changes year to year," it said.

The commission said it understood there had been "engagement and communication which has helped to restore confidence within this mixed residential neighbourhood".

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