THE Orange Order and Northern Irish politicians were praised by
the Chief Constable of the Police Service of Northern Ireland after
the peaceful end to a contentious Twelfth of July parade in Belfast
on Saturday, which, in former years, sparked off days of rioting by
Loyalist and Nationalist factions.
The parade by members of lodges from Ligoniel in the north of
the city had been banned by the Parades Commission from passing
shops at an Ardoyne interface that is a traditional flashpoint.
Chief Constable George Hamilton had deployed 3500 officers,
about one-third of them in the small North Belfast enclave, and
erected steel barriers up to 400 metres from the shops to prevent
any attempt by the lodges to march in the banned area.
The Orange Order, which had indicated its intention of
protesting before the event, responded by holding up the 17 main
parades of the day for six minutes, the length of time taken for a
parade to pass the Ardoyne interface - and said it would escalate
peaceful protests in "a graduated response" to the Parades
The Northern Ireland Secretary Theresa Villiers, noting the
combined efforts by Loyalist and Nationalist politicians to ensure
that the day passed off peacefully, said it was important that the
whole com-munity and its leaders should build on what had taken