Loyalist parade passes off peacefully

Published Saturday, 21 September 2013
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More than 3,000 people have taken part in a loyalist parade in Belfast, which passed off without incident amid a strong police presence on Saturday afternoon.

Loyalist parade passes off peacefully
Protesters take part in a loyalist parade through Belfast city centre (© Pacemaker)

The march, which started in Belfast city centre, was organised by a group calling itself Loyal Peaceful Protestors.

Police estimate numbers went up to about 3,000 throughout the afternoon, with about 1,000 people initially gathering at City Hall.

The Parades Commission had placed a time restriction on the parade, determining that it had to leave City Hall by 12.30pm and pass the junction of Royal Avenue and North Street by 1pm.

Protestors, however, had applied to leave the area by 2pm.

UTV reporter Peter Cardwell said that a large number of protestors remained in the area past the set dispersal time.

Police had to warn protestors to leave the area a number of times or face prosecution, he added.

The parade began making its way down North Street shortly before 2pm and finished at Woodvale Parade in north Belfast later.

Peter Cardwell said that as the procession made its way down Royal Avenue a band played Sloop John B, also known as The Famine Song.

Some marchers had Orange regalia on, although this was not an official Orange parade.

Saturday's march was organised to protest at decisions by the Parades Commission after it ruled that Orangemen could not return home past the Ardoyne shop fronts on 12 July.

Senior Orange Order member Rev Mervyn Gibson told UTV the recent decision by the watchdog to ban bands from playing music in the Woodvale Road and Twaddell Avenue areas next week had encouraged more people to attend.

"People are angry but they're here to show through peaceful means that anger and they want to see the back of the Parades Commission and the Brethren return home to Ligoniel."

TUV leader Jim Allister, who attended the march, said the loyalist and unionist people of north Belfast are being "oppressed".

He said the local loyalist community has seen their rights "trampled" over the summer months.

"I'm encouraged by the resolution and determination of the unionist and loyalist people of north Belfast," he told UTV.

A number of diversions were in place in the city centre and the Shankill Road areas during the parade.

© UTV News
Comments Comments
jackie in belfast wrote (493 days ago):
@ Frosty in Here sure this is northern Ireland do you expect anything different??
Ulysses32 in Belfast wrote (493 days ago):
But sure ,b/o/p, the festooning of loyalist areas in red white and blue isn't about marking your own territory, now is it? How about that republican mural that appeared recently with IRA being mispelt as UVF? It is a sad endictment that you actually believt the nonsense you have typed. The constant and blatant disrespect that fleggers have for others is self-evident. Perhaps you can point me to one news article (which doesn't quote numpties like Frazer and Bryson) that could even remotely bolster your opinion because I can point to a plethora of news articles on this particular website that confirm that you are delusional. Incidentally, UTV, my last comment concerning "Subversion in the UDR" has yet to appear to refute the nonsense that Deeko added. Any chance? It is an official report by British Military Intelligence, or are we cherrypicking comments that follow house rules for your own purposes.........?
Ulysses32 in Belfast wrote (493 days ago):
Why Deeko? British Military Intelligence did. Have you read "Subversion in the UDR" on Cain website? In conclusion, British Miliary Inelligence found that, "We know comparatively little, from an intelligence point of view, of subversion in the UDR. Often what intelligence there is, is of a 'post facto' character. But despite our limited sources and the limited evidence available to us a fair number of UDR soldiers have been discovered to hold positions in the UDA/UVF. A number have been involved in overt terrorist acts."
reality in Belfast wrote (493 days ago):
@deeko. In what alternative universe do you exist!!! The amount of RUC/UDR involved in murder etc is a long list!!! How many were quietly sacked so as not to create bad publicity!!! You're just a one sided, uneducated, loyalist bigot!!!
Jim in Swords wrote (494 days ago):
You got that wrong Deeko you must of meant RUC and UDR collusion with terrorist groups. More to the point.
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