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Belfast fears more unrest

02 August 2013

PA

Stand-off: Orangemen with police on Woodvale Road, Belfast, close to the Ardoyne, after their protest march was re-routed

Stand-off: Orangemen with police on Woodvale Road, Belfast, close to the Ardoyne, after their protest march was re-routed

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.

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