Belfast Telegraph

Sunday 26 October 2014

Belfast shops may not open on Twelfth again

Orangemen and women march towards Belfast City Hall
Orangemen and women march towards Belfast City Hall
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Drunk loyalists and parade tensions mean Belfast retailers may not open on the Twelfth again, according to a report.

A Belfast City Centre Management report said a question mark now hung over whether traders would open on the Orange Order's biggest marching day of the year.

Shops in the city have started opening on July 12 since 2009, but trade this year was disastrous for many.

The report said one "well-known high street brand" only had seven customers, while trade at more than 80% of shops surveyed was below expectations.

It also revealed that 65% of shops are considering not opening for next year's Twelfth.

Tourists also complained to Visit Belfast about "an intimidatory atmosphere" and "louts roaming around drunk".

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