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Irish Republic: Orange Order marched banned over violence risk

Unionists left the peace process with Irish republicans today after Northern Ireland’s Parades Commission blocked the Orange Order from marching through a republican area.

The commission said there would be an unacceptable risk of violence if the march entered the Ardoyne district of Belfast.

Orange Order marches through Ardoyne provoked riots by locals from 2009 to 2012, while unionists rioted last year in response to a decision not to allow them.

A joint statement by leaders of the Democratic Unionist Party, Ulster Unionist Party, Progressive Unionist Party and Traditional Unionist Voice said they saw “no value in continuing contact with a Parades Commission that does not listen and is immune to reason.”

But they urged their supporters to confine themselves to peaceful protests about the ban.

Social Democratic and Labour Party AM Alban Maginness welcomed a “sensible decision” by the commission, while Northern Ireland Deputy First Minister Martin McGuinness of Sinn Fein said unionists needed to “show leadership” by accepting the ruling and upholding the rule of law.

nProtests were also held outside the BBC’s Broadcasting House in Belfast yesterday over the publicly funded corporation’s decision to interview a Ku Klux Klan member on Wednesday’s Good Morning Ulster programme.

Belfast Trades Council and the Irish Congress of Trade Unions Youth said the BBC’s decision beggars belief.

“The KKK are renowned for lynching people because of the colour of their skin. There can be no justification for these racist, divisive, reactionary beliefs nor should they be given the oxygen of publicity by the largest broadcaster on these islands,” they said.

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