Loyalists plan parade to commemorate 1,000 days since beginning of Twaddell protest

Loyalists are to hold a parade outside Clifton Street Orange Hall next month to commemorate 1,000 days since the Twaddell camp protest began.
John Monaghan

LOYALISTS are planning a special parade in Belfast next month to mark 1,000 days since the beginning of the Twaddell protest.

The Parades Commission yesterday imposed a series of restrictions the parade, which will begin at 7pm on Thursday April 7 outside Clifton Street Orange Hall in north Belfast.

The march is intended as a show of solidarity with loyalists who have maintained a protest camp at Twaddell Avenue since Orange lodges were blocked from completing their return parade along the Crumlin Road and past the nationalist Ardoyne area in July 12 2013.

Since then, Orangemen have paraded daily every day, except Sunday, from the Twaddell camp up to police lines and have held marches from Woodvale to Twaddell every Saturday afternoon.

In recent weeks loyalists have been encouraging supporters to attend through leaflets and social media posts.

The April commemorative parade will make its way to Carlisle Circus and across Denmark Street onto the Shankill Road, before proceeding via the Woodvale Road and Ballygomartin Road towards the camp.

Organised by The Ligoniel Combine, around 500 participants are due to take part along with two flute, bands including the Pride of Ardoyne and Shankill Protestant Boys.

The Parades Commission published its determination yesterday following a meeting in Belfast.

The Commission said it had heard from residents groups and political parties with concerns about "increased tensions in the area."

It has imposed several restrictions on the parade, including an order to disperse no later than 8pm and that the march has no "undue stoppages or delays."

Only the two bands notified to the Parades Commission will be able to parade, while the organisers "shall arrange for the presence of an adequate number of stewards to ensure that all parade participants and supporters act in an orderly manner."

The Commission determination also adds: "No music shall be played between the junction of Twaddell Avenue and Woodvale Drive and the dispersal point at the junction of Twaddell Avenue and Crumlin Road."

"The Commission re-affirms the importance of respectful behaviour in interface paramilitary-style clothing is to be worn at any time during the parade and flags, bannerettes and symbols relating to a proscribed organisation shall in no circumstances be displayed."

It was reported last year that the three year protest is costing £330,000 a month in policing costs.

Enjoy reading the Irish News?

Subscribe now to get full access