PSNI hail peaceful Armagh St Pat's

Published Tuesday, 20 March 2012
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Police in Armagh have hailed the peaceful passing of a loyalist St Patrick's Day parade in the city, despite two hoax security alerts aimed at causing "disruption and mayhem".

PSNI hail peaceful Armagh St Pat's
The march was given the go-ahead by the Parades Commission despite opposition. (© Pacemaker)

Thousands lined the streets of the city on Saturday to watch the main St Patrick's Day parade, only for it to be delayed by the discovery of a device in the College Street area.

The event had to be re-routed away from city centre and eventually took place after a two hour delay, meanwhile a controlled explosion revealed the device to be a hoax.

Later a controversial loyalist march by Cormeen Rising Sons of William Flute band passed largely without incident while the atmosphere was described as "relaxed".

This year's events passed peacefully and we hope that this sends a direct message to those who seek to ruin celebrations of this nature.

Ken Mawhinney, PSNI

A handful of arrests had been made, however "fears of disorder" surrounding the event - which was given the go-ahead by the Parades Commission - did not materialise.

Armagh Area Commander, Chief Inspector Ken Mawhinney said: "Many people worked behind the scenes to ensure that the celebrations went well and were able to be enjoyed by all.

"Fears of disorder were not realised and the vast majority of people demonstrated their respect for all events and worked with police."

Mr Mawhinney said the devices were aimed at causing "disruption and mayhem", and although this was avoided, festival goers were still inconvenienced.

He continued: "One of the devices was detected and dealt with on Saturday and the second was discovered on Sunday, following a telephone warning.

"It is our belief that the aim of these items was to cause disruption and mayhem during celebrations on St Patrick's Day.

"Fortunately, this was avoided on the day however local residents were inconvenienced and disrupted throughout the weekend and up until Monday evening.

"We will continue to do our utmost to ensure that all events organised in the city are enjoyed by all and policed appropriately."

© UTV News
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9 Comments
lee in lurgan wrote (914 days ago):
@john look the 12th of july is a tradition for the orange order and all who takes part. in my eyes republican parades r to celebreate mudering terriorists. want a republican take it over the boarder. @peter whos going to pay for the st patricks day parade for the nationalist. im sure the police was at the parade during the day aswell.
John in Co.armagh wrote (915 days ago):
What an acholade from the PSNI both parades passing of peacefully meaning the attempts by the SDLP and Sinn Fein to heighten tensions did not bear fruit much to there dismay both communities enjoyed there respective parades which can only be a good thing for the people of Armagh iresepctive of there religious persusion.
ED in armagh wrote (915 days ago):
hardly same time as the parade was a good few hours after , john and there wouldnt need to be a police presence if it wasnt for the time warp people who protestagainst it , time you lived up to GFA and learn to tolerate
francine in newry wrote (916 days ago):
READ THE HISTORY OR EVEN JUST THNK ABOUT IT ,ITS A JOKE EVEN THE IRISH MEN AND WOMEN IN AUSTRALIA AND AMERICA ARE TALKING ABOUT THIS,THE SINNERS WERE NO WERE TO BE SEEN,
Rob in North Down wrote (916 days ago):
@ Peter - which parade are you talking about should receive a bill - the St Patricks Day one, or the loyalist one? Surely if loyalists have to pay, so should nationalists. (By the way - I think they should all be stopped!)
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