Friday 30 July 2010

Apprentice Boys of Derry and Shankill Star Flute Band NOT WELCOME

Shankill Star's Main Drum

The decision by the Apprentice Boys of Derry (ABOD) Ligoniel Walker Club to have the Shankill Star Flute Band accompany it through Ardoyne on August 14th is nothing short of an affront to the memory, family and friends of Paddy McKenna. Their inclusion also causes grave offense to residents across greater Ardoyne who held Paddy in high esteem. As well as, many other families in this community who also suffered the loss of much loved relatives killed by the UVF.

The same band also marched through Ardoyne alongside the Walker Club in December last year. After the highly-discredited Parades Commission incredibly permitted the parade past the spot where Paddy McKenna was shot dead by Robinson. At the time, Nationalist Politicans, Resident Groups including GARC, local media outlets and the McKenna family strongly criticised the insensitivity of the march.

Sectarian killer and Orange Order member, Robinson killed respected Ardoyne resident, Paddy McKenna in September, 1989. While he helped a friend open her shop on the Crumlin Road. Soon after the murder, Robinson was shot and killed and a UVF collegue injured after their motor-cycle was rammed by the SAS a short distance away.

The Star's Badge

On its official website, the band states its tagline; ‘For God and Ulster’, a UVF slogan and also states; ‘In memory of Brian Robinson’. One of its Blog posts state; ‘Where our music is welcome, we shall play loud; where our music is challenged, we shall play it louder’. Here is the Internet link;

The band regularly displays Ulster Volunteer Force (UVF) and Young Citizens Volunteers (YCV) flags or standards that glorify the two Loyalist paramilitary organisations responsible for the murder of many Ardoyne residents. However, the most insulting aspect of this band is that it commemorates the UVF murderer on the side of their main drum.

UVF Flags

If the insensitive Parades Commission allow this march the blame for unwelcome violence lies fully with those marching where they are cleary not wanted. It will also be with those who permit this act of bigotry and the PSNI who will force it through our community, against the wishes of an overwhelming majority of Ardoyne residents.

On behalf of those residents, the Greater Ardoyne Residents Collective (GARC) stress that the Apprentice Boys of Derry and the Shankill Star Flute Band are not welcome in our community. Their insistence on marching through our area is an insult and we strongly demand both organisations withdraw their contention to march.

Friday 23 July 2010

Triumphalist Orange Order Parade in Ardoyne

According to many within the Protestant and Unionist community, Loyal Order parades do not take place in a triumphalist manner.....?

Does the behaviour of those on the above video not seem extremely triumphalist? The reality is that Greater Ardoyne residents are forced to put-up with regular 'cultural' parades. Local families must also endure being hemmed into their homes and streets by thousands of riot-clad and hostile paramilitary Police. Heavily armed with assault rifles, large batons, plastic bullets guns and a number of water-cannons.

When will the Clergy, Politicans and Community Leaders who claim to represent the Greater Ardoyne area stand behind local residents and end these parades?

When will Unionists end the pretense that these parades are not secterian?

While those outlined above hesitate and refuse to properly engage with greater Ardoyne residents, GARC will continue to speak on behalf of those in our community whose voices have been ignored for too long!

Thursday 22 July 2010

Ardoyne Residents Willing to Talk.....Belfast Telegraph Letter

Belfast Telegraph:
Wednesday, 21 July 2010

According to Libertarian (Write Back, July 19) my ‘group will not be satisfied until they have ethnically-cleansed that area of Protestants’.

The Greater Ardoyne Residents Collective (GARC) have, on a number of occasions, stated that they ‘have respect for the Protestant religion, heritage and culture’. On behalf of GARC, I reiterate those sentiments.

Yes, we oppose loyal order marches up the Crumlin Road past Ardoyne and the Mountainview communities, but we have articulated our position and reasons behind that stance.

GARC and I accept that Protestant/unionist homes are regularly attacked in the Woodvale and Twaddell area, and we condemn these attacks unreservedly. Sectarianism is wrong from whatever quarter it comes. It must be stressed that these attacks are carried out by thugs who are not representative of Ardoyne.

Neither GARC nor I have any interest in ethnically-cleansing Protestants from any area.

Everyone has the right to live in peace, and we will defend that right for residents in the Woodvale as much as we do for residents in Greater Ardoyne.

If it will help ease the concerns and worries of the Woodvale and Twaddell residents, then I and our collective would be more than willing to meet the local residents’ group.

Martin Og Meehan
Greater Ardoyne Residents Collective

Wednesday 21 July 2010

Apprentice Boys Apply For Another Contentious Parade Through Ardoyne

Not Much Respect For the Ardoyne Community

The Ligoniel Walker Club have applied to the highly discredited Parades Commission to march through Ardoyne on the 14th August 2010 @ 8.30am.

This is in spite of serious protests and recent trouble concerning contentious parades in the same area. The Commission is due to rule on this march of shame on August 4th

Therefore, it is up to everyone to voice their opposition to yet another unwelcome and secterian parade in Ardoyne. We also demand that the Walker Club withdraw it's application and leave the whole community in peace!

Saturday 17 July 2010

Loyal Orders Must Not Be Allowed to Shirk Their Responsibilities - G.A.R.C.

Unwelcome Orangemen Marching Through Ardoyne

Last Monday, the Orange Order blatantly ignored the wishes of the vast majority of Ardoyne residents to march through our community twice. The secterian organisation also discounted advice from, the RUC/PSNI, Clergy, Politicians, Residents Groups, Community Leaders and Journalists that if they stormed ahead. This procession would undoubtably lead to inevitable violence and set community relations back years. Regardless of this, the Loyal Order coat-trailed through Ardoyne and left behind a trail of devastation in its wake.

Yet again, another generation of Ardoyne residents feel humiliated by Orange intruders and alienated by the hostile actions of the RUC/PSNI. Contentious parades prevent local people from living in peace. Bigoted marches are clearly not wanted in our area and proven time and again that they only breed violence.

GARC Protesters Being Forcibly Removed

Even though, GARC peacefully attempted to stop this year's Twelfth parade from passing Ardoyne. We were prevented from doing so by hundreds of riot-clad, paramilitary Police. Who hemmed us in and forcibly removed us from the Crumlin Road. A number of our Activists have since been charged and are due to appear before Court, next month. Afterwards, the same cops welded their batons and fired over seventy plastic bullets at bystanders.

We believe the Loyal Orders cannot shirk its responsibilities and blame others for their shortcomings! If the Orders are indeed christian organisations who believe in civil and religious liberty. Then they need to step up to the mark, and seriously reassess their outdated insistance to march in Ardoyne. Like most areas in this city, there has been a huge democrafic change in North Belfast. As such, recognition by the Loyal Orders, Parades Commission, RUC/PSNI and Politicians of these changes must be taken into account. Residents in these areas have a right not to be bothered by regular secterian parades outside their homes.

We have been accussed by some within the Protestant community of, ' not wanting a Prod about the place'. If this was true, would local Protestants not be prevented from going about their daily business. Would they not be stopped from travelling up or down the Crumlin Road the other 364 days of the year. We welcome and will defend the rights of North Belfast Protestants to live in peace. GARC reiterate our respect for the Protestant religion, heritage and culture. We support the right of all groups to parade in a peaceful manner. However, they must adhere to the rights of others and march only where they are welcome! 

GARC have also been wrongly accussed by some Nationalist Politicans of 'orchastrating rioting' which followed our protest on the Twelfth? S/F need to explain to the people of greater Ardoyne, why they didn’t join our protests? Maybe their hypocritical statements were issued to justify their part in the very system that condemns us annually to bigotry. Historically speaking, unwanted violence has always followed naked acts of sectarianism in Ardoyne. Long before GARC came into being! Regarding us, coaching children to riot? If your Party has evidence then produce it, because we are confident it does not exist! Local people remember well, S/F Leaders sending our youth out to take on the Crown Forces and Loyalists in street battles many times. Were these teenagers not used as cover and to exploit certain situations! Or do they forget the heroic deeds of Na Fianna Eireann and Cumann Na gCailini ?

RUC/PSNI Gunmen On Stand-By

The Greater Ardoyne Residents Collective would like to stress that we are NOT affiliated to any political group or party! We are determined to oppose further secterian marches forced through our community in the future. However, we are equally resolute in our willingness to meet anyone concerned to articulate our analysis.

Wednesday 14 July 2010



'No-one from G.A.R.C. wishes to be appear to be involved in the blame game. However, we are on public record prior to the 12th calling upon opponents of secterian parades through our area to come along and stand shoulder to shoulder in PEACEFUL and DIGNIFIED protest and appealed to everyone, especially the youth to refrain from acts of violence which historically have always resulted in violence.

Therefore, our analysis has been proven correct, NO PARADE - NO VIOLENCE!
G.A.R.C. take this opportunity again and ask people to desist from violence, as it deflects the focus from the core issue of unwelcome secterian marches being forced through our community.

Tuesday 13 July 2010




'Firstly, our analysis proved correct Loyal Orders who insist on coat-trailing acts of bigotry through our area. Permitted by the detached Parades Commission and last but not least, the PSNI who once again are seen in the eyes of the world, ready and willing by any means necessary to ensure the greater Ardoyne community is subject to intimidation and humiliation. So much for the Ireland of Equals, where do we fit in?

G.A.R.C. are on public record appealing for a peaceful and dignified protest. We held a white-line picket on the Crumlin Road from 2pm - 4.30pm yesterday. We decided on a sit-down protest which lasted until 8pm.

Our activists also appealed and remonstrated with youth people to refrain from acts of violence. However, as history has shown their anger and frustration against an unwelcome parade again spilled over. The politics of condemnation doesn't work, the media should focus on the core issue. Secterian marches are NOT welcome, our community are NOT the hosts as our survey proves! As we stated in the past and do again, if there were NO Parades there would be NO Violence. The Loyal Orders must now stop insisting on marching through our community and allow Ardoyne residents to live in peace.

In conclusion, the Greater Ardoyne Residents Collective will continue to speak to ALL interested parties and individuals in attempts to resolve this contentious issue, once and for ALL'.

Sunday 11 July 2010

Greater Ardoyne Residents Collective Appeal For a Peaceful and Dignified Protest

We,  the Greater Ardoyne Residents Collective (G.A.R.C.) appeal to everyone, particularly the youth to refrain from any acts of violence as it will achieve nothing only untold hurt and misery and should not be allowed by our opponents and the media to deflect attention away from the core issue of unwelcome acts of bigotry through our community. We must ensure that our protest is peaceful and dignified.

Friday 9 July 2010



The following text was printed in the latest G.A.R.C. NEWSSHEET delivered to every home in the greater Ardoyne area last night Thursday, July 9th 2010.

'We met with CARA and the Parades Commission on Friday 4th June to agree on the process. So important was this to both sides that there was agreement to meet again on Monday 7th June. At that meeting CARA made it quite clear that they wanted the two return home evening parades (Tour of the North and Twelfth of July) withdrawn and they would not oppose any morning parades’
...(Shankill Mirror - June, 2010)


C.A.R.A. held a public meeting in Ardoyne Hall on July 1st, 2010; the above statement was put to CARA by a member of the public.

At first its spokesman, Joe Marley denied the compromise saying, ‘People shouldn’t believe everything they read in newspapers, especially the Shankill Mirror’.

However, he later confirmed that this was indeed their compromise when he stated that; ‘CARA’s strategy is to have evening parades stopped and to completely sanitise morning parades so that the Orders will become so frustrated that they will stop parading altogether’.

CARA also outlined it had met the Irish Government, David Ford, the Parades Commission and the North & West Belfast Parades Forum to what end? Given that the discredited Commission has once again kicked this community in the teeth by permitting more unwelcome displays of drunken bigotry through our area. History has proven these marches inevitably led to unwelcome violence! So much for dialogue.

Contrary to what some claim, it is evident that dialogue with this quango offers our community nothing but repeated sectarian marches through Ardoyne. It is also clear that CARA’s proposed compromise fell on deaf ears.


C.A.R.A. cannot properly reflect the views of everyone in the greater Ardoyne area, since it only represents a section of residents. Therefore, the question is why are the rights of a majority of residents being ignored?

During one of our Pickets, GARC was approached by Tommy Cheevers (North/West Belfast Parades Forum) and members of the Twaddell/Woodvale Residents Association. During the brief chat, they gave us a phone number and asked for a formal meeting. Our Collective agreed to make contact through the Trade Union Movement to clearly articulate our opposition to unwelcome parades.

However, the meeting didn't take place because ‘it was not possible as a meeting with dissident republicans wouldn’t go down well’, within their community. This was conveyed through the same channels outlined by UVF boss, Winkie Irvine in an interview to the News Letter on 18th June, 2010.

Irvine also alleged that, ‘channels of communication are open and those channels are telling us clearly that dissidents are planning violence and mayhem’. He also alluded to GARC being; ‘dissident republicans intent on disrespecting Orange and British culture’.

These words were backed by Sinn Fein’s, Gerry Kelly who issued a similar statement, congratulating CARA and accusing GARC of being; ‘self-styled, non-elected and unconstituted. He ended by outrageously stating, ‘they are hell bent on provocation’.

As the Lower Ormeau Community and the Garvaghy Road Residents stated recently; ‘The solution is to focus on the small number of contentious loyal order parades that can be resolved by obliging the organisers to take an alternative route. The re-routing of contentious parades is neither new nor radical. The European Convention on Human Rights and the European Court of Human Rights recognise that restrictions, including route restrictions, can be placed on parades to protect the rights of others, or to prevent disorder’.

GARC have proposed an alternative route which has been endorsed by over 1100 households in the greater Ardoyne area. Some however, have attempted to rubbish our viable proposal because of party-political motivation.

It is our intention that residents and NOT political parties should decide what is right. In spite of political smears, GARC will not allow the rights and opinions of a majority of residents in the greater Ardoyne to be ignored and besmirched.


The Greater Ardoyne Residents Collective call upon all opponents of sectarian marches in the area to attend our PEACEFUL PROTEST and stand shoulder to shoulder with us on the 12th of July. ONLY TOGETHER can we STOP being treated as SECOND-CLASS CITIZENS in our own community at the behest of sectarian bigots.

Sunday 4 July 2010



The discredited Parades Commission has once again kicked the Ardoyne community in the face by permitting another unwelcome display of drunken bigotry through our area. History has proven these marches inevitably lead to unwanted violence!

Contrary to what some claim, it is evident that dialogue with this quango offers our community nothing but repeated sectarian marches through Ardoyne. G.A.R.C. has proposed an alternative route which has been endorsed by over 1100 households in the greater Ardoyne area. However, some have attempted to rubbish our proposal because of party-political reasons.

In spite of erroneous smears, G.A.R.C. will not allow the human rights of a majority of residents in the greater Ardoyne area to be ignored. We respect the Protestant religion/heritage and culture. We support the right of all groups to parade in a peaceful manner. As long as, they adhere to the rights of others and march only where they are welcome. It is our intention that the people of greater Ardoyne are left in peace and that Loyalist marches are re-routed away from our district.

The Greater Ardoyne Residents Collective call upon opponents of sectarian marches to come to Ardoyne and stand shoulder to shoulder in a peaceful and dignified protest with local residents on the 12th of July.