Sinn Féin President Gerry Adams TD has called on the organisers of tomorrows contentious parade in Ardoyne, Mountainview and the Dales not to march the same route on their return journey.
Mr Adams said:
“In recent days unionist political leaders have in an irresponsible way sought to heighten tensions around the Ardoyne Parade in the wake of the Parades Commission determination to have the return leg finished by 4pm.
“This has included attempts to get the British Secretary of State Owen Patterson to intervene in workings of the Parades Commission. Mr Patterson should not involve himself in this issue. This would be entirely the wrong thing to do.
“There has been much good work done in North Belfast on the parading issue in recent years. This work needs supported not undermined. However the Orange Order needs to step forward and make their contribution to the peace process.
“Genuine dialogue is the only way to resolve this issue. Recently we saw positive examples of that with the Orange leadership addressing the Seanad in the Oireachtas for the first time and Martin McGuinness meeting Queen Elizabeth 11.
“Regrettably the Orange Order still refuse to meet the residents of the Ardoyne area. Respect is a two-way street and if the Orange Order wants respect from nationalists then they need to respect host communities and treat them as equal citizens.
“The Orange Order parade passes Ardoyne, Mountainview and the Dales in the morning. There is no need for the return parade. This does not interfere with the Orange Order and the lodges involved from participating in and enjoying their celebrations throughout the day.
“I agree with Loyalist Leader Jackie McDonald that the Orange Order need to look seriously at the issue of return parades. A decision not to return past Ardoyne, Mountainview and the Dales in the evening would transform the situation in North Belfast.”