Camp Twaddell has backfired spectacularly on the Orange Order

Posted By: July 07, 2015

Camp Twaddell has backfired spectacularly on the Orange Order
Alan Lewis – 4/8/2013.Mandatory Credit – Picture by Justin Kernoghan.

Orangemen march to a police line on the Woodvale Road at the weekend. Another protest has been held after a contentious Orange Order parade was stopped by police in north Belfast. Three Orange Order lodges had applied to march past the Ardoyne shops on the Crumlin Road but the Parades’ Commission ruled against the move. Saturday’s parade stopped on the Woodvale Road, at Woodvale Parade. The lodges were accompanied by thousands of supporters..After the protest there was three cheers for Ruth Patterson. DUP councillor Ruth Patterson has been charged by police after she made comments on Facebook about a planned republican parade in County Tyrone.She has been charged with sending a “grossly offensive communication”.On Facebook, she responded to someone else’s post about an imaginary attack on the parade in which several people including Sinn Féin figures are killed.She wrote: “We would have done a great service to Northern Ireland and the world.” She later apologised..
Allison Morris . Irish News ( Belfast). July 7, 2015 

THERE was no real surprise at the Parades Commission’s determination on the controversial Ardoyne parade released yesterday.

For the third year running Orangemen have been banned from marching the return leg of the route past the north Belfast interface which this year falls on Monday July 13.

There has been no progress politically in the last 12 months and the foolish move to retain a protest camp at the Twaddell interface – at great cost to an already stretched policing budget – has backfired spectacularly.

In 2013 I stood along with other journalists in the middle of a mass riot as Orangemen, bandsmen and supporters attacked police lines sparked by outrage that the parade was stopped at Woodvale. 

The violence lasted well into the early hours of the morning. DUP MP for the area Nigel Dodds was rushed to hospital with a head injury after being hit with a piece of masonry.

Those ugly scenes were far removed from the peaceful protest of 2014 when the unionist promise of a ‘graduated response’ helped ease tensions.

One year on and the graduated response has achieved nothing of any substance, other than to make north Belfast loyalists feel they were hoodwinked by their own political representatives.

Exactly how the Parades Commission determination will play out this year remains to be seen. The ‘hawks’ within loyalism will no doubt exploit the ruling to pursue the growing anti-agreement agenda currently gaining support within sections of hard-line unionism.

The question is what now for the Orange Order? 

While the ruling was predictable the loyalist response – as we have seen over the last two years – is not. 

All eyes will be on north Belfast in the lead up to Monday’s parade.