Published Tuesday, 20 March 2012
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