At Stake
'The right to freedom of religion and the right to freedom of peaceful assembly'


1. Audit Summary (2011 -2014)
History of the troubles in Ardoyne since 2011:
- 2011: After the processions passed the shops on the Crumlin Road, serious disorder erupted from the nationalist side of the Crumlin Road against the police;
- 2012: After the procession passed serious disorder occurred between the loyalists and the nationalists.


Procession: 11/1 submission (2013) - Ligoniel True Blues LOL 1932:
Purpose: “To join main Twelfth of July parade Then Attend Religious Service In The Field then To Return home to Ligoniel Orange Hall”
Purpose intent - PEACEFUL

Protest: 11/3 submission (2013) - Greater Ardoyne Residents Collective (GARC):
Purpose: “To Protest Against Sectarian Bigoted Marches Through Our Community”
Purpose intent - PREJUDICE

The Parades Commission determination (2013) states:

- There are concerns about the evening return parades and protest at this location (Para. 8).

- PSNI had to maintain public order in extremely difficult circumstances and yet it is not said that it was impossible to do so (para. 8).

- The Orange Order engage in talks directly with CARA six days before the date of the Parade (para. 9).

- Commitment made by CARA and the Orange Order to continue with the discussions (para. 10).

- The Commission support others to facilitate a concerted mediation effort between CARA and the Orange Order to start in September 2013 to help inform the 2014 parading decisions (para. 11).

- Even if there is no consensus between those who intend to process and those who protest there should not be violence since any lawful procession and protest must be peaceful at all times.

- There is an obligation on representatives and local community and political leaders to use their good offices and/or to take reasonable steps as appropriate to prevent violent and /or unlawful protest (para. 23).

- The source of public disorder is identified as coming from unlawful and violent protest. The protest has an adverse impact on the rights and freedoms of the local community (para. 23)

Parades Commission's Decision:

- Ligoniel True Blues LOL 1932 shall not process the part of the notified route between the junction of Woodvale Parade and Woodvale Road and the junction of Hesketh Road and Crumlin Road.



2013: The procession route was restricted to Woodvale Parade. Serious violence ensued with up to 5000 supporters of the procession descending on the Woodvale area.


Procession: 11/1 submission 2014 - Ligoniel True Blues LOL 1932:

Purpose: “to return to Ligoniel Orange Hall on completion of the celebration for the 324th Anniversary of the ‘Battle of the Boyne’ by Divine Service and Procession in commemoration of King William III, Prince of Orange who brought civil and religious liberty to all.”
Purpose intent - PEACEFUL

Public procession, The Parades Commission Determination (2014):
Engagement between the Orange Order and the objectors between 2013 and 2014:

The Parades Commission give its assessment of what happened between September 2013 and June 2014:

- Dialogue took place by way of church-led talks between the Orange Order and CARA during the year 2013-2014 (Para. 11 and 27).

- Dialogue has occurred and that it was sincere and meaningful but not sustained (para. 11).

- The Orange Order engaged with the local community and the Parades Commission. But the Protest organised against the determination made in 2013 undermined the progress delivered elsewhere (para 12).

- The frequency of the nightly and weekly protest parades has impacted on community life and community relations in the local area. There has been 76 breaches of determinations on the nightly and weekly protest parades (para. 13).

- The disruption to the life of the community comes as a result of the parade on the 12 July and of the nightly and weekly parades in the Woodvale area (para. 18).

- Disorder occurred in 2011 from the nationalist side (para. 20); in 2012 from the loyalist side (para. 21); in 2013 from the loyalist side (para. 22). Public disorder is a characteristic of parading and parade related protests in the Crumlin Road area (para. 23).

Parades Commission's Decision:

- Dialogue is to continue between organisers and objectors, the objections need to be genuine, relevant and have a reasonable prospect of being addressed by the parade organiser (para. 30).
- Dialogue should be supported by additional measures (para. 25):

o New structures for the whole community to discuss their views and frustration must have the confidence and endorsement of those most closely impacted by the issues (para. 26);
o Societal, historic and political issues impacting upon the parade should be discussed within that new structure (para. 27-28);
o The Commission ready to promote and facilitate mediation (para. 31).



The Way Forward 2015

- Stating the right to freedom of religion and the rights to freedom of peaceful assembly of Orangemen.
- The restrictions that can be imposed on the rights should pursue a legitimate aim:
o Prevention of disorder or crime and/or
o Protection of the rights of others.
- The restrictions imposed should only be necessary and proportionate in a democratic society.
- Engagement should take place in compliance with the following principles:
o First principle: A clear and transparent system for the appointment of representatives of the local community in Ardoyne;
o Second principle: The fundamental right to freedom of peaceful assembly must be acknowledged by public procession organisers and interested persons within the locality;
o Third principle: The freedom of the public procession organiser and of interested persons within the locality to engage;
o Fourth principle: Engagement is a process to address particular issues which specifically relate to restrictions that are necessary in a democratic society, in pursuance of a legitimate aim as prescribed in the European Convention.

Conclusion: The restriction voluntarily agreed to by the public procession organiser should comply with the European Convention on Human Rights.

At Stake
'The right to freedom of religion and the right to freedom of peaceful assembly'