Fears of more disorder at Orange Order marches
VIOLENCE broke out between Nationalist protesters and police after controversial Orange Order marches passed through North Belfast today.
Security forces are on the alert for more violence tonight when the parade returns but Orangemen say a peaceful solution was reached last night following talks with community groups.
The Twelfth of July represents the culmination of the loyal orders marching season.
Sinn Fein MLA Gerry Kelly said: “The road is now cleared. it was very tense and there was a peaceful protest as planned. While the lodges and the bands stuck to their (Parades Commission) determination, there was a substantial number of supporters who started shouting abuse at the protesters and it got a bit hairy but we are through it, it has been a lot worse in the past.”
Ten people were arrested last night during separate disorder in the Broadway area of West Belfast. Nine remain in police custody.
Hundreds of anti-riot police are on duty today amid fears of street disorder in north Belfast after a big Orange Order demonstration in the city.
Politicians on all sides as well as Northern Ireland Secretary Owen Paterson appealed for calm in the Catholic Ardoyne district where dissident republicans are to protest against the returning parade by some Orangemen from neighbouring Protestant districts.
There has been major trouble before at this particular flashpoint at the end of the traditional Twelfth of July rallies when police were attacked with petrol bombs and bricks by gangs of masked men opposed to the Sinn Fein peace process strategy of Gerry Adams and Martin McGuinness.
Last night Belfast Orangemen said they had agreed a solution which would allow a peaceful return parade following a ruling that they proceed home earlier than normal from the main demonstration field.
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