With a surge of applications made to the Parades Commission by bands across Northern Ireland to hold parades over the annual July 12 celebrations, there are at least five in Fermanagh which are awaiting a determination.

Parades have been applied for in Enniskillen, Ballinamallard, Aghadrumsee, Kesh and Lisbellaw while a parade in Newtownbutler was given the go ahead albeit for a very short distance.

Assistant Grandmaster of the Orange Order, Stuart Brooker, has said the position of the Order remains unchanged and all events have been cancelled. While he is aware their are bands organising parades, that is “entirely up to them” as they are not under the direct control of the Orange Order.

With the prospect of people coming on to the streets to see some of these parades, Mr. Brooker has urged against it.

“We have been very clear that is not to happen. We do not want crowds to come out ,that is why way back the celebrations were all cancelled.

“We will not be having any orange parades and our position remains clear. There is still very much a risk there.”

Mr. Brooker said that if parades do take place then those involved should adhere to the government guidelines in place and also that nobody should follow the bands but watch them from their homes as they go past.

In Newtownbutler the parade applied for by the Loughkillygreen Accordion Band was met with opposition including the Newtownbutler Area Residents Association (NARA) who had applied for a protest.

However the Parades Commission’s determination to restrict the parade to short route from the junction with the Magheraveely Road and the speed limit signs at the edge of the town resulted in the protest no longer going ahead.

In their determination the Parades Commission cited a substantial number of representations that the parade was unwelcome and that it is a threat and risk to the residents of the village.

They also received statements saying “the gathering of people from outside the main village area in a small town is not necessary and will raise the risk of Covid spread” and “they are showing no regard or respect to our frontline workers or families that lost loved ones”.

The Parades Commission also said the new parade, involving a new organiser, may potentially destabilise the wider parading understanding in Newtownbutler and create new community tensions.

Sinn Féin councillor, Thomas O’Reilly welcomed that there would be no parade in the village.

“Quite a lot of people objected, including NARA, to this to the Parades Commission and the Parades Commission ruled that they would curtail the route of that parade to the Magheraveely junction to outside the village and NARA decided to withdraw the protest.

“At the end of the day this is about making sure that the work that has been done over the last number of years, quite a lot of years and the amount of people on all sides of the community that have taken risks to try and build the peace in Newtownbutler, and the Loyal Orders have decided that they are not marching this year.

“To risk that peace and put another parade in to the village is definitely unwarranted and unwanted,” concluded the councillor.