NORTHERN Ireland, and particularly Belfast, is bracing itself
for more public disorder because of a continuing ban by the Parades
Commission on a march by the Orange Order through a flashpoint
Nationalist area in the Ardoyne district of Belfast.
The return leg of the 12 July parade was rerouted away from the
Ardoyne. There followed five days of rioting and injuries to 70
members of the Police Service of Northern Ireland (PSNI). The Order
says that it will continue to hold weekly protests similar to the
one on Saturday, when more than 1000 members followed a single band
up to police lines 300 metres from Ardoyne shops, and remained for
an hour without incident.
The continued refusal of the Parades Commission - which most
Loyalists want abolished - to allow the full march to take place is
predicted to result in further trouble, as applications have been
made for similar marches tomorrow, and on 10 August.
Appeals from the deputy leader of the Irish government, Eamon
Gilmore, and the Northern Ireland Secretary, Theresa Villiers, to
reconsider their protests in the interests of peace have so far
fallen on deaf ears. On Sunday, an Orange spokesman, Mervyn Gibson,
said that others had a part to play in the issue, including the
PSNI and the Secretary of State.