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09/07/2002

Belfast July 12th parades given go ahead

As the twelfth of July approaches, two more Orange Parades have been given the go ahead in Belfast.

One march is due to pass the mainly nationalist Ardoyne area although with no music, while the second is routed along the Springfield Road.

The ruling follows weekend clashes in Drumcree where 24 police officers and two civilians were hurt in the riots which erupted after the annual Portadown Orange Order service.

The parades body determination on July 12th parades issued last night ruled an Orange Order parade will be allowed to pass along the nationalist part of the Springfield Road in west Belfast with no restrictions.

Last month an Orange Order parade along the same route erupted in violence with police using a water canon to disperse nationalist rioters.

Meanwhile in north Belfast a march has been allowed to proceed but with restrictions. No music is to be played between the junctions of the Crumlin Road/Hesketh Road and Woodvale Road/Woodvale Parade and supporters have been ordered to stay away.

Sinn Féin councillor Margaret McClenaghan has said she was disappointed the Parades Commission had decided to allow the Ardoyne feeder parade.

Yesterday the party had talks with the Commission urging them to ensure the parade be re-routed after serious violence broke out last year.

Last July the feeder parade, which passes the nationalist Ardoyne area in north Belfast saw trouble break out as Orangemen passed by on their return route.

Police officers were attacked by nationalists as they secured the route for the Orangemen to pass.

Meanwhile a parade by Ballynafeigh District Lodge on Friday will not be allowed to march along the Lower Ormeau Avenue in South Belfast.

The Orange Order said they would do everything they could to prevent violence from breaking out and ensure the parades passed off peacefully.

The 12 July parades celebrate the most important date in the Orange Order's calendar - the 1690 defeat of Catholic King James by Protestant Prince William of Orange at the Battle of the Boyne.

(AMcE)


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