Belfast Telegraph

Loyalist parade through Belfast city centre during Christmas shopping weekend 'limited to 500 marchers'

By John Mulgrew

A proposed loyalist parade through Belfast city centre later this month during one of the busiest Christmas shopping days will be limited to 500 participants, the Parades Commission has ruled.

Sinn Fein has already blasted the march saying it "will only cause hardship to local traders".

An application for the march on Saturday, November 29 was put forward to the Parades Commission, under the name the 'Loyal Peoples Protest'.

It's one of the biggest shopping days in the run-up to Christmas.

A total of 10 bands applied to take part in the parade - which will work its way through the heart of the city.

The Parades Commission has limited the number of those taking part to 500. The group had made an application for 6,000 marchers.

The proposed route includes City Hall, Donegall Place, Royal Avenue, North Street, Shankill Road, Tennent Street, Crumlin Road and Cambrai Street.

The Parades Commission has said the march should clear City Hall by 2.15pm.

It's understood the march has been timed to mark two years since Belfast City Council voted to fly the Union flag on designated days only.

That led to months of protest and parades across Northern Ireland.

It also had a significant impact on trade in Belfast, during the busiest time of the year for retailers.

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