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pointed statement Orange Order hands in protest letter during Belfast centenary parade with Parades Commission chair's name in Irish

The order said they "condemned in the strongest possible terms" the commission's decision to ban the parade from the Kilcoole area

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A north Belfast Orange lodge condemned a decision to ban a district centenary parade from entering the Kilcoole area – insisting the determination by the Parades Commission has led to “immense anger”

A north Belfast Orange lodge condemned a decision to ban a district centenary parade from entering the Kilcoole area – insisting the determination by the Parades Commission has led to “immense anger”

A north Belfast Orange lodge condemned a decision to ban a district centenary parade from entering the Kilcoole area – insisting the determination by the Parades Commission has led to “immense anger”

Angry Orangemen yesterday handed in a letter of protest to the chair of the Parades Commission in Northern Ireland – with his name written in Irish!

The letter was handed in during the parade in north Belfast to mark Northern Ireland’s centenary.

The tongue-in-cheek gesture with Rev Graham Forbes name in Irish was to highlight what the Order has claimed was an unfair decision in banning the parade the Kilcoole Park area, where they claim the “overwhelming majority” of residents were in favour of the parade.

Three bands took part in the event, with hundreds lining the streets to watch in the sunshine.

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Enjoying his day out: Five-year old Harry Scullion at the orange parade in North Belfast this afternoon.

Enjoying his day out: Five-year old Harry Scullion at the orange parade in North Belfast this afternoon.

Enjoying his day out: Five-year old Harry Scullion at the orange parade in North Belfast this afternoon.

After the marchers reached police lines, a member of LOL 647 handed in the letter to police to be passed on to the Parades Commission, before they marched back.

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The letter addressed to the chairman of the Parades Commission, with his name in Irish

The letter addressed to the chairman of the Parades Commission, with his name in Irish

The letter addressed to the chairman of the Parades Commission, with his name in Irish

DUP MLA William Humphrey said the blocking of the parade was “another bad decision” which has made locals “very angry”.

He said the restricted area was “predominantly Protestant” and that the Orange Order had held a “dignified” and “peaceful” parade.

The Parades Commission had previously agreed the Kilcoole Park, Mountcoole Park and Rosscoole Park – all areas the parade was due to pass through – were mixed areas and restricted the parade from passing.

The body described Kilcoole Park as a “mixed residential area, described variously by a large number of residents as a ‘neutral area’, a ‘peaceful, mixed area’ and as a ‘quiet area’”.

The commission also said they had received a large number of objections to a parade in these areas back in 2018 and which locals perceived was an attempt to “destabilise a settled mixed neighbourhood”.

A spokesperson for the body added that they were satisfied that their decision to restrict the parade was “proportionate and fair” and said they encouraged both parties involved in the dispute to “enter dialogue” in order to achieve “an accommodation”.

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The Orange Order hit out at the Parades Commission, with a spokesperson saying the organisation “condemned in the strongest possible terms the decision” to stop the centenary parade from entering the Kilcoole area.

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