Band played sectarian music at flashpoint say residents

Parades body criticised over lack of restrictions!

NATIONALISTS have accused a loyalist band of playing “sectarian” music during an Apprentice Boys parade past a North Belfast flashpoint. Carrick Hill residents said The Sash and Derry’s Walls were played as bandmen passed the nationalist district on Saturday evening.


They also said that minutes earlier the band played music while passing nearby St Patrick‘s Church on Donegall Street as Apprentice Boys made their way home from the annual Lundy parade in Derry. Nationalist residents were critical of the Parades Commission after it failed to restrict the playing of music in the area. In the past loyalst bands have played sectarian music as they passed both the church and Carrick Hill. Locals last night said that up to 50 Apprentice Boys and one band passed St Patrick’s as parishioners were making their way into church for Mass. Carrick Hill Concerned Residents’ Group spokesman Frank Dempsey critiicised the Parades Commission for not placing restrictions. “The Parades Commission sent a band down here knowing well Mass was on and they put no restrictions on the music,” he said. Police last night confirmed that an 18-year-old man was arrested for disorderly behaviour and resisting police at Cliftion Street during the parade and later charged. He is expected to appear at Belfast Magistrates Court on January 3.

CARA’s current position & stregedy on loyal order parades

In North Belfast two nationalist residents groups called off protests during an Apprentice Boys feeder parade past Ardoyne on Saturday. One band and up to 115 people took part in the march past the flashpoint. RE-ROUTE SECTARIAN MARCHESTensions in the area have been high since the Parades Commission banned Orangemen from passing the nationalist district as they made their way home from their annual Twelfth celebrations in July. A loyalist protest camp has been set up on nearby wasteground while nightly parades are held in the area. Greater Ardoyne Residents Collective (GARC) spokesman Dee Fennell said they suspended plans for a protest “to reduce tension, give traders respite and reduce disruption” in the area. Crumlin and Ardoyne Residents’ Association (CARA) spokesman Joe Marley said their protest was called off as a “gesture of goodwill”. Meanwhile, up to 3,000 poeple and 31 bands took part in the main Apprentice Boys parade in Derry on Saturday commemorating the 17th century siege of the city. It passed off without incident and was described as a success. An Apprentice Boys feeder parade in Castlederg, Co Tyrone, also passed off peacefully. Meanwhile, Parades Commission chairman Peter Osborne has accused some politicians in the north of providing bad leadership. He was speaking after an illegal loyalist parade was held through Belfast city centre on November 30. Police confirmed last week that the organiser of the parade had been interveiwed and would be prosecuted, while The Irish News also revealed that a bandsman involved in a march past St Matthew’s Church in East Belfast last year has become the first person to be given a jail term for breaching a Parades Commission ruling. “I am not happy that anybody is being posecuted for parades-related offences and other offences that will have a hugely detrimental impact on their life,” he told the BBC. “I think there’s some bad leadership in the North of Ireland at the minute, the result of which there are a lot of young people being arrested and prosecuted and have criminal records when they really don’t need to have.”

With many thanks to: Connla Young, The Irish News.


Loyal order ‘flouted’ restrictions

THE conduct of loyalist marchers (Orange Disorder) at the Last Saturday parade was “beyond comprehension the parish priest of St Patrick‘s Church in Belfast has said. Fr Michael Sheehan was reacting to the Royal Black parade on Saturday when loyalists played The Sash while Mass was being celebrated inside the church.


Fr Sheehan, said: “it was disappointing and disheartening that the Royal Black Preceptory consider that the playing the Sash as they march past residents of Carrick Hill and through this community of St PPatrick’s was respectful.”The playing of loud music as they pass in frount of St Patrick’s Church during devine worship is definitely not respectful, It is not conductive to the building of respect, trust and confidence between the communities of this city. It doesn’t win the respect or trust of the congregation of this church. This particular breach of codes of practice is beyound comprehension,” he said. “It is difficult not to interpret such actions on the part of the loyal orders as a failure at any real attempt to resolve the issues around the contentious parades as they pass St Patrick’s Church and it’s community.”

The last Saturday parade which passed St Patrick’s Church on Belfast’s Donegall Street “flouted every legal restriction placed on it,” according to the culture minister Caral Ni Chuilin, a Sinn Fein MLA for the area said “total disrespect” shown to the nationalist community living in the area. The Parades Commission had determined that only a single drum beat be played as bands passed Carrick Hill while the return leg was supposed to be finished ahead of Mass. However, nationalist politicians claimed the Royal Black Institution (a supposedly religious orgainasition) was delayed by participants so that it coincided with Ssturday evening Mass. While music was played passing the church. Ms Ni Chuilin also claimed a member of the order had spat on a protester. Parish priest Fr Michael Sheehan said: “Tensions had been inflamed by “disrespect for the rule of law and good civic relations between citizens, organisation and communities”.

Ms Ni Chuilin said: “I am fed up hearing about loyal orders being religious oeganisations celebrating culture when in reality what was on show today was an exercise in sectarian coa trailing through a nationalist area.970645_693636490662862_35749967_n “A member of the Royal Black Institution spat upon a protester and on the way home they waited until Mass had started before returning past St Patrick’s Church. “Every aspect of the determination in relation to the parade was broken today and it is my opinion it was an effort to goad nationalist residents into some type of retaliatory reaction.” SDLP assembly member Alban Maginness said he believed marchers acted “quite deliberately” to delay the parade to coincide with Mass.”The Black men (bastards) were supposed to have finished their parade by 6.15. They didn’t commence their parade until around 7.10 so they passed the church after Mass had started,” he said. He said the manner which music was played when passing the church as “not fitting for prayer or worship” and described the behaviour of marchers as “aggressive and provocative”. In June this year the Orange Order, in conjunction with the Royal Black Institution, issued a “template” it said would help ease tensions in the area. The template suggested they would facilitate weddings, funerals and regular church services. Violence erupted outside Donegall Street church during a similar parade last yesr when nationalists and loyalists clashed. A spokesman for the Royal Black Institution said: “Around Northern Ireland on Saturday, approximately 18,000 members of the Royal Black Institution took part in their annual Last Saturday demonstrations. “Many thousands of turned out to enjoy the spectable which is an important part of our culture, (are they having a fucking laugh). “Although there will always be people opposed to our parades, we are pleased that our day passed off without any incident and we beleive this is a step forward.”

With many thanks to : Simon Cunningham, The Irish News.


‘The decision has been taken to prosecute 15 individuals in relation to an incident at St Patrick‘s Church on July 12 2012 – PPS spokeswoman.

FIFTEEN members of a loyalist band filmed playing sectarian music while marching in circles outside a Catholic church are set to be prosecuted. Controversy erupted after members of Young Conway Volunteers were recorded playing the ‘Famine Song‘ at St Patrick’s Church in Belfast city centre on the Twelfth of July last year.


The song contains anti-Catholic and anti-Irish lyrics and is sung by Glasgow Rangers supporters and loyalists. The episode, which made international headlines, was blamed for making the St Patrick’s area a new parading flashpoint and stoking wider tensions across the north of the city. More than a year after the footage emerged, it is understood band members are to be prosecuted for the offence of “doing a provocative act”. Since last years parade – part of the main Twelfth procession through Belfast city centre – parishioners at St Patrick’s and local residents have objected to loyal order marches passing the church and the nearby nationalist district of Carrick Hill. Based on the Shan kill Road, the Young Conway Volunteers band was formed in 2007 for the “preservation and promotion” of the memory of Thomas Skinner – a member of the UVF youth wing, the Young Citizen Volunteers, who died in 2003.

The band caused more controversy last August when it defied a Parades Commission ruling not to take part in a Royal Black Institution parade past St Patrick’s. Violence flared when a large number of bands also broke a commission determination by playing music as they passed the church. Members of Young Conway Volunteers took part in this year’s Twelfth parade past St Patrick’s with a band called Young Citizens Volunteers. To date only one person has been convicted of offences a raising out of the July 2012 incident outside St Patrick’s. In March this year William Bell (48), known as Billy, admitted assaulting north Belfast man JJ Magee. Bell waved a club-shaped stick at the Sinn Fein member as he was filming the YCV band outside the church. It is understood members of the band will appear in court later this month.

A spokeswoman for the Public Prosecution Service confirmed: “The decision has been taken to pprosecute 15 individuals in relation to an incident at St Patrick’s Church on July 12 2012.” Meanwhile, security is set to be tight around St Patrick’s this weekend when the Apprentice Boys parade takes place past the church on Saturday involving one band and up to 55 people. The band taking part has been ordered to play only hymns from the junction of Clifton Street and West Link and Donegal Street and Union Street. Nationalists residents have also been given permission to hold a protest during the parade.

With many thanks to : Connla Young, The Irish News.


‘They can lose me as many jobs as they want buy I am never going to work for [them] – Matt Johnston, pictured

A BELFAST man has claimed he lost his job after attempts were made to recruit him as a police informer. Matt Johnston, from the republican New Lodge area, said police seized his car outside an east Belfast warehouse where he worked last month.


According to the father-of-two who has previous convictions, officers demanded to search his car at Castlereagh PSNI station after earlier raiding the house in north Belfast where his children live and visiting a recruitment agency in search of him. He says that while later walking to the station to pick up his car he was approached by two men as he walked along Dill Street, close to the former RUC interrogation centre.The 32-year-old says the men asked him to supply information about two Belfast-based republicans and refereed to his former membership of a residents group set up to support people in Carrick Hill opposed to loyalist parades past St Patrick‘s Church.

Johnston says that during the encounter the men told him they could arrange for him to lose his job. In June 2012 he was sentenced to four years in prison after pleading guilty to taking part in a tiger kidnap robbery in 2008. He served nine months in Maghaberry and was released last March due to time already served on remand. “Is this their new tactic, if you don’t work for us we will starve you into it?” he asked. “554902_127331307455451_502011840_n-1They wanted to rattle my cage and ttest the water with me to see what I was made of. They can lose me as many jobs as they want but I am never going to work for [them].” Politicians have routinely defended the use of informers to combat dissident Republican attacks. UUP justice minister Tom Elliot recently said that while everyone has the right to question security force tactics “they also have a right to prevent any acts of criminality and I support their right to do that”. A spokeswoman for the PSNI said: “We do not comment on intelligence matters and no inference should be drawn from this.”

With many thanks to : Connla Young, The Irish News.


Republicans and loyalists apply to march same contentious route

THERE have been appeals for calm after a republican band and the Royal Black Institution applied for permission to march on the same Belfast street later this month. Members of the Royal Black Institution have applied to walk past St Patricks Church and nearby nationalist district of Carrick Hill on August 25 as they make their way to south Belfast for a church service.


Up to two bands and 300 people are expected to take part. However, it has also emerged that North Belfast-based Henry Joy McCracken Flute Band has also applied to march through Carrick Hill on its way to Clifton Street Cemetery shortly after the loyal order parade. Serious violence erupted during a Royal Black Institution ‘Last Saturday’ parade past St Patrick‘s last year. Tensions in the area have been high since Shankill Road-based band Young Conway Volunteers were filmed walking in circles outside the church while playing the sectarian ‘Famine Song‘ on July 12 last year. The republican parade has been organised to commemorate United Irishman Henry Joy McCracken who was executed by British forces in 1798 and who is buried in Clifton Street Cemetery. Up to seven bands and 500 people are expected to take part in the parade which will leave Ardoyne before traveling through north Belfast to New Lodge and on to Carrick Hill. Trouble flared during a similar parade last year when around 200 loyalist protested as the republican band and supporters passed Clifton Street Orange Hall. A number of senior loyalists were pictured on the balcony of Clifton Street Orange hall as the parade passed.

Although both parades have applied to start at 2pm, organisers of the republican event say they will not leave Ardoyne until 3pm and expect those taking part in the Royal Black Institution march to have passed Clifton Street before they arrive. On the return journey the Royal Black Institution parade is expected to have passed Clifton Street and reached its end point on the Crumlin Road by 5.30pm while the republican parade will leave the cemetery at 6pm before returning along Clifton Street. Henry Joy McCracken committee member Sammy Cusick appealed for calm ahead of the parade and urged those intent on trouble to “stay away”. “We are trying to bill this as inclusive for all,” he said. “Our band is named after Henry Joy McCracken and you know he was a Presbyterian, a Protestant, who fought to break the connection with England. “We don’t want to be stoking sectarian tensions at this time and the reason we have a return parade in the evening was to take the crowd away from the area.” Mr Cusick said the band had voluntarily marched along Clifton Street playing just a single drumbeat last year and a similar gesture this year had not been ruled out. A spokesman for the Royal Black Institution said: “We will be parading to our annual church parade service which we hope causes no offence to anyone. Only hymn music will be played on the way out and back from the church service.”

With many thanks to : Connla Young, The Irish news.


14-year-old boy charged with rioting

LOYALIST bandsmen were attacked by nationalists who had been protesting against a march past St Patrick‘s Church and the Carrick Hill area of North Belfast. A crowd of around 20 men charged the band and their supporters as they made their way along nearby York Street in a separate parade at around 7.45pm.

VIOLENCE: Trouble in York Street in Belfast led to a man being injured and being given first aid in a police Land Rover.

Hand-to-hand fighting ensued and one loyalist was beaten to the ground. He was lifted into a PSNI Land Rover for first-aid. There was a heavy police presence in the Donegall Street and Clifton Street area during the contentious return parade past Belfast’s newest flashpoint but it was several minutes before officers got to the situation in York Street under control. The attack happened as police stopped nationalst residents of Carrick Hill returning to their homes after the main parade. As officers held the group back at the junction of Carrick Hill and Donegal Street a crowd standing on the other side of the junction close to the nationalist New Lodge area ran the 300 or so metres towards York Street where a band had stopped and was playing music. Eyewitnesses said police were “caught on the hop” which allowed the nationalist group to attack the bandsmen and their suppoters.

PSNI Land Rovers raced towards the incident and were joined by officers in riot gear who covered the short distance on foot. The eariler parade along Donegall Street had passed off peacefully with only a few insults exchanged between bandsmen and their supporters and nationalists. The Parades Commission had ordered bands to play hymns as they passed the church and a single drumbeat at Carrick Hill but some bands broke the determination. One man walking behind the Shankill Protestant Boys band gave a Nazi salute as he walked past the church and protesters. There were minor scuffles at the junction of Union Street when police officers intervened to remove supporters who were banned for a section of Donegal Street and Clifton Street by the Parades Commission. Meanwhile, a 14-year-old boy has been charged with rioting after he was arrested in North Belfast in the early hours of yesterday. The boy,was arrested in the Oldpark area, was one of several arrested ahead of the Twelfth demonsrrations. He is to appear before Belfast Magistrates Court today. A 28-year-old man who was arrested in the Broadway area of West Belfast on Thurday night is to appear before the same court today, charged with pocessing articles for use in petrol bombs and riotious assembly. A 22-year-old man arrested in the Springfield Road area of west Belfast has been charged with disorderly behaviour and indecent behaviour. He is expected to appear before Belfast Magistrates Court on August 8.

With many thanks to : Maeve Connolly, The Irish News.


‘The way to find a resolution to this issue is for the loyal orders to sit down with the Carrick Hill residents group in face-to-face dialogue – Kate Clarke.

A NEW group set up to “support” residents opposed to loyal order parades past St Patrick‘s Church in Belfast. The group was formed after a public meeting in the New Lodge area on Wednesday night.


Around 150 people packed into a hall to discuss parades past St Patrick’s and nearby Carrick Hill area. The Carrick Hill and New Lodge districts are both in the St Patrick’s parish and the Carrick Hill Concerned Residents group held regular protests during contentious parades. Residents from New Lodge and nearby North Queen Street held a separate protests along the parade route at Clifton Street during the disputed Tour of the North last Friday. Tensions in the area have been high since the Shankill Road-based Young Conway Volunteers were filmed playing the sectarian Famine Song on July 12 last year.

During this week’s meeting, which was descibed as being tense at times, several people attending voiced their view that there was no need for a new residents group in the area.A nine-person committee was eventually nominated and the decision taken to establish it as a “support” group as opposed to a separate residents body. Chairwoman Kate Clarke said dialogue was the only way to find a solution to the parades crisis. “We will be taking our lead from the Carrick Hill residents group and as fellow parishioners will do whatever we can to assist them as they seek respect for their community and our church from loyal order paparades,” she said. “The way to find a rresolution to this issue is for the loyal orders to sit down with the Carrick Hill residents group in face-to-face dialogue.”

Meanwhile, the Parades Commission has placed restrictions on a ‘counter-protest’ during a contentious Orange Order parade on the Springfield Road. Supporters of the Orange Order had wanted to hold a protest at the flashpoint “in support of equal access to perceived contested space”. A major security operation took place for the annual parade. While it has been peaceful in recent years, in the past it has sparked violent clashes. After receiving submissions on Friday, Parades Commission chiefs limited the ‘counter-protest’ to 10 people and restricted those taking part to an area close to the gates of Springfield Road Primary School. Springfield Residents Action Group, which is linked to Sinn Fein, has been given permission to hold an anti-parade protest involving up to 200 people between the junction of Pollard Street and Springfield Road and the entrance of Millennium Outreach Centre. Strict conditions have been placed on those taking part in the parade itself, with only 50 office bearers and members of Whiterock Temperance lodge allowed to pass through Workman Avenue and along the disputed part of Springfield Road. Up to 16 bands and remaining 900 participants must make their way through the site of the former Mackies factory before rejoining Springfield Road.

With many thanks to : Connla Young, The Irish News.

Relate articles


SHAME FEIN has said any attempt to disrupt loyal order parades in Derry will be “opposed” by the people in the city. The comments by Foyle assembly member Raymonp)Cartney came after a new umbrella group rrepresenting nationalist residents across the north said it was considering holding Union-flag-type protests at loyal order parades.


Derry is set to host the Orange Order‘s flagship Twelfth demonstration this year with up to 10,000 supporters expected to flood into the majority nationalist city for the event. Communities Against Sectarian Parades (Casp), which is not aligned to Shame Fein, was launched last week to oppose disputed marches. The group warned it may “mobilise and disrupt” loyal order parades in the city. A deal hatched with the Apprentice Boys in Derry is held up as a model for other areas to follow. Casp chairman Sean Hanna said nationalists were angered at events in the Carrick Hill district of north Belfast after last Friday’s Tour of the North during which Parades Commission determinations were broken by loyalist bands. Mr McCartny said the new group was “unelected” and “has no long-term strategy” to resolve parading disputes. “A threat to bring flag-style protests to the city will be opposed by the people of Derry who have worked hard to promote the city in a good light and will not have an agenda dictated to by people who do not have the good intentions of the city at heart,” he said.

With many thanks to : Connla Young, The Irish News.


Hard line could renew tensions where deals are in place.

NATIONALISTS opposed to loyal order marches are planning to stage Union Flag type protests to disrupt parades over the summer. An umbrella group set up to represent nationalist residents’ groups have threatened to hold protests in districts where local deals have already been reached, including Derry City.

Communities Against Sectarian Parades (Casp), which is not aligned to Sinn Fein, was launched last week to oppose disputed marches. The loyalist flags protests, which began after a decision to restrict the flying of the Union flag at Belfast City Hall, led to months ofr road closures and disruption in the city. Casp chairman Sean Hanna warned it may “mobilise and disrupt” loyal order parades in Derry where nationalists and the Apprentice Boys ended years of violence by striking a deal on parades. Mr Hanna also said Casp was considering a “mass demonstration” in an effort to highlight its concerns. “If we continue to have situations in Carrick Hill north Belfast ) there is a possibility where we are strong in Derry and Tyrone we will mobilise and disrupt in almost the same way as the flag protesters.” However, Foyle MP Mark Durkan warned against seeking to upset the Derry deal. “No group should be setting out to disrupt such arrangements,” he said. “I have always argued that it would be wrong to use the demography and geography in Derry as a tit-for-tat against pararding difficulties elsewhere. “Any attempt to create tension or difficulty around agreed established parade terms in Derry would be seen as not only an action against the Apprentice Boys but against the interests and spirit of the city.”  Mr Hanna, who is also the chairman of Rasharkin Residents’ Collective in Co Antrim, said different branches of the loyal orders should not be viewed in “isolation” to each other. “The Derry (deal) was never agreed with us,” he said. The spokesman said nationalists were angered by events that took place in Carrick Hill last weekend. “The Orange Order can not hold a demonstration in Carrick Hill and allow supporters to break lose…. and expect we are going to stand and wave at them when they walk past. “People care about other areas and they care about the vulnerable and weak, they can’t stand idly by and watch this happen on a regular basis.” The spokesman called on the Irish government and Northern Ireland Office to engage in talks with this group to ease marching tensions. “If it can’t be resolved then there is goning to be some form of peaceful but radical action taken,” he warned.

Events set an alarming tone


CONFIRMATION that Communities Against Sectarian Parades (Casp) intends to bring its members onto the streets dosn’t come as a surprise to observers. And while the nature of the “action” it threatens to take is not yet clear, the fact that it intends to link disputes in different contentious districts will worry authorities. The events of last Friday night in Carrick Hill set an alarming tone for the main marching season. While the bizarre sight of Gerry Kelly being carried along the street on the bonnet of a police Land Rover was a talking point, yet another breach of a Parades Commission determination that night has undoubtedly cranked the temperture up. How the PSNI responds to the “peaceful but radical action” Casp intends to take to highlight its concerns may however provide one of the biggest tests of the summer. Casp is made up of a number of nationalist residents groups from across the north, not aligned to any political party, and is keen to estabilish its credentials as an organastion that represents communities on the parading issue. Should members come into conflict with the PSNI during the protests this summer both Sinn Fein and the SDLP will be acutely aware of the potential impact those images will have on the wider nationalist community. Casp’s drive to assert itself combined with the Orange Order’s continued refusal to sit down with local residents in key flashpoints is certain to keep the parading pot simmering.

With many thanks to : Connla Young, The Irish News.


Police failed to communicate with those on the ground. A quick two minutes to explain the situation to either Gerry Kelly or the SDLP‘s Alban Maginness, who was also present, could have instantly defused a volatile atmosphere.

Shinnermanaaway the shock value of the ‘Gerry on the jeep’ incident and the events in north Belfast at the weekend provides a glimpse into operational policing here that the wider public rarely get a chance to see.

It’s hard to imagine a British cabinet minister hopping on the bonnet of a panda car or a senior TD leaping on a garda vehicle, but thats just what happened on Friday evening at Carrick Hill. Gerry Kelly is a former junior minister, a member of the policing board and one of Sinn Fein‘s most senior figures. In fairness to the Sinn Fein MLA I’ve been covering flashpoint parades and the disturbances that often go with them for a while now and have the scars to prove they can be volatile and unpredictable events. It’s impossible to plan what way things are going to pan out as the aftermath of the Tour of the North on Friday clearly showed. While the parade passed relatively peacefully, albeit with several suspected breaches of the Parades Commission ruling by a number of bands, it was the policing of nationalist residents and the reaction to it that made the headlines. The arrest of a 16-year-old for alleged provocative behaviour was the catalyst for the well documented ‘shinner on the saracen’ incident.

On the face of it Gerry Kelly’s behaviour seems incredibly rash and ill thought out, but what most people aren’t aware of is how much ‘security’ at ththese events is carried out using a ‘policing by consent’ model. While we were given a glimpse of this during the loyalist flags protests – when senior officers admitted for the first time that policing was being carried out on a ‘least worst option basis’ – it is in fact used to police many marches and protests. One side will be hemmed in to facilitate another, not because they are considered the biggest threat but in fact the opposite because they are considered easier to control. You may think the law is black and white but not in the North of Ireland where it can be any one of 50 shades of gray.

DUP assembly members who are also members of the Orange Order are regularly seen marching in parades in which legal determinations are disregarded by the accompanying bands. Elected representatives, community and at times paramilitary figures have the ability to ease tensions, calm situations and form a buffer between youths and police – should they want to. This was seen in east Belfast during the month of January when the UVF stepped in to stop violence by effectively doing the job of the police. Policing in what is often referred to as hard to reach communities is regularly carried out in this way. And in many cases police are happy to facilitate this response.

If there is any doubt that this is the case take a look at the guest list to the talks in Cardiff which included not just elected representatives but unelected paramilitary figures and self styled ‘brigadiers’. All give assurances to communicate in times of tension and swapped contact numbers to ensure that this was followed through. While this may not be ideal in a supposedly democratic society it can be quicker, cheaper and safer than sending in the riot squad. Gerry Kelly was one of those who agreed to the ‘Cardiff principles’ as were senior police officers from assistant chief constable level down. Friday night was the first real test of this new spirit of cooperation and the wheels fell off – or sped up depending what side of the Land Rover windscreen you were on. Police failed to communicate with those on the ground. A quick two minutes to explain the situation to either Gerry Kelly or the SDLP’s Alban Maginness, who was also present, could have instantly defused a volatile atmosphere. Equally putting into practice the method of communication agreed at Cardiff rather than steeping in front of a moving vehicle would have showed the talks were beneficial and more than just a boys’ jolly. We are now just weeks from the Twelfth and tensions are higher than ever. The Cardiff weekend founded by the public purse has failed to produce the goods. Carrick Hill is now on par with Ardoyne with potential for violence at an all time high and still the Orange Order have not sat down with residents to hammer out a solution to the hamster wheel of marches, recrimination and sectarian tensions. Pass me my hard hat – I’m going in…..

With many thanks to : Allison Morris, The Irish News.

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