PARADES COMMISSION CAPITULATES
The Parades Commission has reversed its decision to ban a
sectarian march from the nationalist Springfield Road tomorrow.
The decision reversal, following threats of violence by unionist
paramilitaries, has been greeted with shock and dismay by local
The Commission had originally ruled the Whiterock parade could
not enter a nationalist stretch of the road but this afternoon
that decision was turned on its head.
Unionist hardliners celebrated in west Belfast this afternoon as
news of the Parades Commission decision filtered through.
They had been planning to protest and block roads for the second
day in a row but the Parades Commission decision to allow the
parade to take place changed that.
Lower Falls Sinn Fein councillor Tom Hartley has labelled the
u-tuirn as a "political capitulation".c
Councillor Hartley said, " Today's decision by the Parades
Commission has caused intense anger within the nationalist
"What we have seen today is a political capitulation by the
Parades Commission in the face of loyalist threats of violence.
"The Orange Order's District Lodge No.9 has been rewarded for
their refusal not to meet with residents".
The reversal came after the Commission met political and
community representatives over the past 48 hours, including Sinn
Fein and members of the recently formed Loyalist Parades Review
The Parades Commission said this was a key factor in allowing
the parade to go ahead.