Belfast Telegraph

Tuesday 22 July 2014

Parades body puts restriction on SF protest

Protestors at an Army homecoming parade to take place in Belfast next weekend have had time conditions imposed upon them by the Parades Commission.

In a determination issued yesterday, the commission has stated that a Sinn Fein-led protest in opposition to the march on November 2 must not leave Bank Square before 11.30am.

The Army parade is due to commence at 11.45am and organisers of the protest had wanted their parade to leave at noon.

The parades body said if the protest went as notified, there “may be an adverse effect on community relations and potential for public disorder”.

The homecoming parade for Royal Irish troops returning from duty in Iraq and Afghanistan is to start outside RBAI at College Square and end at Oxford Street after heading along Donegall Square North for a City Hall march-past.

The parades body said it was aware “that there are a significant number of people who want the Sinn Fein parade banned” and that “there are many people who are opposed to the MOD (Ministry of Defence) parade”.

“The commission recognises the legitimacy of feelings of both sides and in doing so seeks to uphold the rights of all involved,” it said in its determination.

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