ORANGE ORDER THREATENS DISRUPTION
The Protestant Orange Order is mobilising its members to ensure
an anti-Catholic parade, complete with 'kick-the-Pope' bands and
hangers-on, is forced through a nationalist interface on Monday.
The Orange Order has refused to reveal details of its exact
plans after a Parades Commission's decision to place
restrictions on march through the Ardoyne area of North Belfast.
The march passes the Ardoyne shops interface where Orange Order
supporters and local Catholic residents clashed last year.
The Parades Commission has ruled that only members of the
relevant Ligoniel Lodge and notified marshals can march past the
shops on the return route, and that no music should be played.
In a statement released after an emergency meeting of Belfast's
Orange Order leaders last night, it said it has "put in place
plans that will enable the whole county to support the Ligoniel
brethren, bands and supporters as they seek to complete their
Supporters of the unionist paramilitary UDA blockaded the
Ligoniel Road in north Belfast yesterday for the second evening
in a row.
A spokeswoman for the Orange Order said details of the Order's
actions around the city would be revealed on Monday and a number
of Orange leaders would protest on the route of the Ligonel
Tension is growing over the Orangemen's plans, which
nationalists view as a blackmail threat. It is thought that
street blockades and checkpoints, already set up by unionist
paramilitaries in Ligoniel, could multiply.
Sinn Fein has reacted angrily to the statement from the Orange
Order. North Belfast Sinn Fein councillor Mr Eoin O'Broin said
he fears "the order is putting in place a plan in conjunction
with unionist paramilitaries to try and force the Parades
"This morning's statement from the Orange Order is clearly
threatening and comes in the wake of UDA organised blockades of
Ligonel over the past two nights. The Orange Order in Belfast
are clearly intent on heightening tensions at a time when many
other groups are working tirelessly within interface communities
in this city in order to secure a peaceful summer," he said.
ORDE BACKS MOB
Meanwhile, Sinn Fein's Gerry Kelly, has slammed the comments by
the PSNI Chief Constable, Hugh Orde regarding a rampage by
Orange Order supporters through the Mater Hospital following the
'Tour of the North' parade in the same area last month.
On Wednesday, Orde said reports of a riot at the hospital on
June 18 were inaccurate. He claimed a large number of people
were "milling about... I think they were trying to use the
"I have seen disorderly crowds - that was not my interpretation
of a disorderly crowd," he said, referring to silent video
footage of the incident.
Staff had said they were left terrified by a mob shouting
sectarian abuse, and a number of golf balls had been thrown.
Security staff were required to lock patients into their wards
for their own safety.
Speaking today Mr Kelly said: Hugh Orde's comments "come as no
We are now very use to him using the policing board for
politically charged comments. This latest statement is as good
as legitimising what happened in the Mater Hospital following
the Tour of the North.
"I would be interested in knowing what Mr Orde considers to be a
riot. It is not good enough for him that over 40 youths went on
the rampage within the hospital, a larger crowd outside tried to
force their way in, while both staff and patients had to be
locked into wards for their own safety.
"What is clear is that Hugh Orde seems to be on his own in this
opinion. Representatives of all shades have spoken out and
called this rampage for what it was."