A number of injuries were reported in north Belfast this evening
as an anti-Catholic Orange Order parade was forced through the
republican Ardoyne community.
At the same time, a tense day-long stand-off in the County
Antrim village of Dunloy ended without violence, and a major
parade in Derry was largely peaceful.
Orangemen have been staging hundreds of marches today across the
North to mark the 17th century battle victory of Protestant King
William of Orange over the Catholic army led by King James at
the Battle of the Boyne.
Some marches contentiously routed through nationalist area
without agreement of the host communities are a source of
conflict every summer. The Orange Order officially refuses to
hold talks with the host communities, describing residents'
groups as "IRA fronts".
In north Belfast today, peaceful protests by nationalist
residents were dragged off a contentious parade route in
About 60 protesters who this morning had sought to prevent the
outgoing parade were removed without serious violence. Sinn Fein
president Gerry Adams, who physically intervened to deter
clashes, told the crowd they should be "calm, dignified and
The demonstrators, who wore white T-shirts with the slogan
Equality and Respect for Ardoyne Residents and chanted 'No
Talk, No Walk', were hauled off by PSNI police and troops in
With the permission of the police, fifteen protesters stood on a
wall overlooking the route holding aloft a banner saying 'make
A police chief praised the protestors for showing restraint and
However, despite extraordinary efforts by Sinn Fein officials to
reduce tension, clashes erupted this evening as the return leg
was forced through with considerable violence.
Police used a water cannon as nationalist protesters created a
barricade from a burning vehicle.
A second car was taken from youths by Sinn Fein officials,
although other youths in nearby Brampton Park defied the
remonstrations of their elders. Petrol bombs and blast bombs
were thrown at police in a full-blown riot. One BBC journalist
was among those injured.
The situation eased after the PSNI withdrew, but tension in the
area remains high.
Mr Adams hit out at the decision to let the parade pass the
Ardoyne and criticised the Drumcree-style military operation in
The huge military presence is entirely over the top," he said.
There are huge amounts of British soldiers here and life just
stops, nothing happens and you cant go about your business.
Mr Adams was soaked by water-cannon as he sought to maintain
calm in Ardoyne this evening.
He criticised the PSNI for "setting on" Sinn Fein officials
they attempted to engage in dialogue to deter violence.
Mr Adams also said he defended the right of the Orangemen to
march -- but in these communities where they are not welcome,
it is good manners, it is neighbourly, to come and talk about
Meanwhile, a day-long standoff between nationalist residents and
Orangemen in Dunloy in County Antrim has ended.
A tense situation developed when riot-clad PSNI personnel
attempted to force the Orange march through part of the
nationalist village, contrary to a determination issued by the
The Orangemen had sought to gather at the the village's
Presbyterian church, although the Parade Commission's
determination had limited the Dunloy lodge to marching in the
area immediately outside its hall.
The PSNI then tried to force the parade along the route which
the Commission had barred them from marching.
The Orange Order, led by the DUP's David Tweed, then threatened
to blockade the village. The PSNI failed to make the marchers
disperse, creating a very tense and volatile situation.
The stand-off ended after talks between the PSNI and Sinn Fein
MP Martin McGuinness, who urged protesters to be "cool, calm and
Following talks, a trailer which residents used to block the
road was driven off. Police then formally removed the 30
sit-down protesters from the road to the sound of slow
handclapping from residents.
The Orangemen then drove in a convoy to the the village's
Sinn Fein Assembly member Phillip McGuigan, who was one of the
protesters moved by police, accused the PSNI of attempting to
collude with the Orange Order in breaching the determination.
In Derry, the outward leg of the parade was peaceful, but there
was trouble on the way back in the city-centre Diamond area.
The clases began after groups of nationalists and unionists
exchanged taunts. About 10 petrol bombs were thrown at the PSNI.
Unionists have left the area, but there was a standoff between
police and nationalists which ended following mediation by local
Meanwhile, a parade through a contentious route in west Belfast
has passed off peacefully.
More than 50 nationalists held a silent roadside protest on the
Springfield Road as an Orange march turned into Workman Avenue.
Two bands accompanying lodges were not allowed to play music as
part of a Parades Commission ruling.
The commission banned the parade from returning along the same
route in the evening.
In Lurgan, County Armagh, the PSNI provoked anger when it
allowed the Orange Order to march through a contentious area of
the nationalist town this morning in defiance of a Parades
Around a dozen Orange Order leading officers, including local MP
David Simpson and several other unionist politicians, broke away
from the parade and proceeded along the entire length of William
St, in full Orange regalia.
The PSNI failed to prevent this breach of the determination, and
instead gave the illegal parade an escort.
Local Councillor John O Dowd said that, after two successive
years of breaches, the PSNI "cannot be trusted to enforce such
determinations". He called on the Police Ombudsman's office to
monitor marches in the town.
On Sunday, the Orange Order parade from Drumcree in Portadown,
County Armagh passed off quiet amid a low-profile security
The security operation to block the road at Drumcree has in
previous years been the scene of violent confrontations.
The Protestant loyal order had again been banned from parading
from the church at Drumcree along the mainly nationalist
Garvaghy Road in Portadown.