Northern Ireland

Orange Order calls for the reform of parades legislation

A senior Belfast Orangeman has called for a review of parades legislation Image copyright Kevin Scott / Presseye
Image caption A senior Belfast Orangeman has called for a review of parades legislation

A senior Orangeman has called for "fundamental change to parading legislation".

The Deputy Grand Master of the Orange Order in Belfast, Spencer Beattie, said reform "is not an option for the future - it is a requirement".

He made the comments in an address to Orangemen in north Belfast on Saturday morning.

He was speaking following Ligoniel lodges completing the return leg of their 2013 Twelfth of July parade.

The march up the Crumlin Road, past the Ardoyne Shops, was held on Saturday morning following a deal between the Orange Order and the nationalist residents group, the Crumlin and Ardoyne Residents Association (CARA).

Image copyright Kevin Scott / Presseye
Image caption The Orange Order marching up the Crumlin Road on Saturday morning

'Sense of relief'

Mr Beattie said: "Today there is a sense of relief that our civil and religious liberties have been restored.

"The agreement reached did not come easy, but it is founded on mutual tolerance and respect.

"The outworking of this agreement took place in spite of the Parades Commission," he said.

"Indeed, the Commission's actions throughout this long process have only served to impede progress.

"The current legislation, and those who impose it, were established to appease one community, rather than create a level playing field for all.

"Today, I would urge Mr Brokenshire (the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland) to maximise and utilise this new opportunity created by today's resolution to make the changes required," he added.

Related Topics

More on this story