Northern Ireland news

Collapse of Ardoyne parade talks no surprise

The proposed deal on parading at Ardoyne would have seen the dismantling of the Twaddell protest camp
Analysis by Connla Young

THE collapse of the Ardoyne deal won’t have come as a surprise to some.

From an early stage it was apparent that several players were not involved in the talks, including the Ulster Political Research Group (UPRG) and Greater Ardoyne Residents Collective (Garc).

Some political representatives were also kept in the dark about the process involving Crumlin and Ardoyne Residents Association (Cara) and the Orange Order.

Had plans for a parade this Friday been accepted it would undoubtedly have set a tone for the rest of the marching season.

How the Twelfth in Ardoyne now plays out remains to be seen.

It is clear that the recent talks have signalled a shift in mood among some of those involved in the long running stand-off.

The lack of recrimination in the aftermath of the failed deal also offers a hint that the Orange Order and others are still keen to find a way out of the impasse.

Ultimately a lack of support for the deal from a Ballysillan-based lodge led to its collapse.

Talk of an agreement emerged just days after the Parades Commission banned Orangemen from walking through a peaceline gate during last weekend’s Whiterock parade.

While the order condemned the ruling, its response on the day was muted.

A similar ban led to serious violence by loyalists in 2005.

Republican and Orange Order sources have denied there was any link between the Whiterock parade and the Ardoyne proposals.

However, the recent approach of the order and others has given rise to speculation that an end to the Ardoyne and other parades disputes may not be too far away.

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