Crumlin residents opposed to Orange Order Twelfth plans

Orange Order Local residents said the "whole community will shut down" if the parade goes ahead

Residents in the mainly nationalist village of Crumlin have said they do not want an Orange Order demonstration to be held in the village on the twelfth of July.

The Parades Commission is due to make a ruling on Friday.

If given the go-ahead, up to 4,000 Orangemen could parade through the County Antrim village.

Residents are also unhappy that the Orange Order did not consult them.

Spokesman for the Glenavy district Orange lodge, Tommy Ross, said the event was only held in Crumlin once every 14 years.

"The demonstration goes around all the districts, so it's a seven year cycle," he said.

"When it comes to Glenavy's turn we alternate it between Glenavy and Crumlin.

"We realise that the demographics in Crumlin have changed but there are still some Protestants living about Crumlin.

He said the Orange Order hoped the celebration in Crumlin would not cause too many concerns.

"We have stayed to the main road straight up the main street out the Ballytromrey Road," he said.

Peaceful

"We used to assemble on the Glenavy Road, we changed that because it comes past the Roman Catholic church and we thought that would be a sensitive area, so we took that into consideration in order to help the situation.

"We feel that as Protestants are a minority in the village, this parade going off quietly, peacefully would not do relations in Crumlin any harm at all.

"In fact, it would help to improve relations with the protestant people in that they would feel that their Roman Catholic neighbours accepted their culture as well as their own."

Mr Ross said disruption to residents living in the village would be kept to a minimum.

"The road will be only closed for a couple of hours in the morning or the evening," he added.

"If there is someone who needs to go to hospital the parade will split to make the road available so that an ambulance or car can get through without any difficulty."

Crumlin resident Joanne Smyth said if the parade went ahead it would cause "considerable disruption".

"No-one in the Crumlin Residents Association or anyone that we have spoken to are objecting to the local Crumlin lodge parading on the twelfth through Crumlin as they normally do every year," she said.

"What we are strongly objecting to is the proposed parade with 50 bands, including 4,000 participants, and that is not even including the spectators.

"Why did they feel they did not need to consult with residents?"

Ms Smyth said the organisers had not taken any steps to address the concerns of the residents or to allay their fears.

"We can only go on past history of events of this size and nature and we're just really disappointed that they did not come to any local representatives, community groups or ask any of the residents what they thought of this parade," she said.

Concerns

"We sent a letter to the lodge asking if they could come and speak to us but we haven't heard back from them."

She said residents and traders had a number of "serious concerns"

One of those is the negative impact this contentious parade could have on community relations," she said.

"Recently there has been very positive work done in the area by all parts of the community. We just feel all the good work done in recent times will be damaged if this parade goes ahead. "

Another concern of residents is the impact it would have on businesses in the village.

"Our whole community will shut down," she said.

"All the amenities will be closed, the shops, the Orange Order has to realise that about 80% of participants in the village will not be participating in this event."

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