Deal finally struck over disputed Ardoyne parade

A deal has been struck to end a long running dispute over a banned Orange Order parade in north Belfast.

An agreement has been reached between the Orange Order and the nationalist residents’ group CARA that will allow Orangemen to march along the contested route past Ardoyne.

Violence erupted during the annual Twelfth events in July 2013, when police upheld a Parades Commission ban on a return parade walking past the Ardoyne shopfronts on the Crumlin Road.

A loyalist camp was set up at nearby Twaddell Avenue in response, with protestors vowing to stay until Orangemen were allowed to complete the journey.

Gerald Solinas, left, one of the main protest organisers, at Camp Twaddell in July 2014. Credit: Pacemaker

On Friday evening, those involved in the Twaddell camp and CARA held separate but simultaneous meetings and UTV understands a resolution has been reached. The deal has been brokered by the Reverend Harold Good and Derry businessman Jim Roddy.

It means, if approved by the Parades Commission, the lodges will complete the return leg of the parade along the Crumlin Road on the morning of Saturday 1 October.

Previous negotiations during the summer which had involved a proposal for a one-off parade on the centenary of the Somme in July fell through, after one of the three lodges – Ballysillan - pulled out and nationalist residents walked away.

After the parade takes place, the protest camp at Twaddell Avenue will be disbanded and the Orange Order will not apply to make the return leg on the Twelfth without agreement.

The application for the procession will be handed into the Parades Commission on Monday.

Northern Ireland Secretary of State James Brokenshire has welcomed the resolution.

“I commend the representatives of the Orange Order and the Crumlin Ardoyne Residents Association for their efforts in negotiating a solution,” he said in a statement.

“This is a clear demonstration that local dialogue can work, and offers up the best chance of resolving disputes like this.”