July 12th violence

What a shame that the 12th of July celebrations in the North should be marred by violence yet again.

What a shame that the 12th of July celebrations in the North should be marred by violence yet again.

It wasn’t unexpected, with the police force strenghtened in advance with reinforcements from elsewhere in the UK.

And unfortunately the prediction proved correct.

It leaves the Orange Order with questions to answer. They organise the parades and bring their supporters on to the streets to march.

But then when a parade in Belfast is prevented from marching past a nationalist enclave on its way home, the Orange Order can do nothing to prevent the ensuing violence.

The marchers were angry that they couldn’t march past the Ardoyne on the instructions of the Parades Commission.

The Order knew this in advance. They criticised the decision and then insisted on a stand off with police. It was inevitable then that violence would follow.

The Orange men say that the parades allow them to honour and respect their tradition. They continue to evoke the memory of King William’s victory at the Battle of the Boyne and that is entirely acceptable.

What isn’t acceptable is the violence that the parades descend into when marchers don’t get their own way.

That is not respecting any tradition.

Michael Heverin

Editor