Orange lodge postpones parade in Belfast city centre
An Orange lodge has postponed a controversial parade through Belfast city centre on Saturday.
Sandy Row LOL No 5 said the decision had been taken after talking to retailers, and in light of the increased dissident threat.
The march from Sandy Row to City Hall, down Royal Avenue and then up the Shankill Road had been organised to support Orangemen who have been prevented from marching close to a republican area in north Belfast. Around 200 marchers and five bands were due to take part.
In a statement released late last night, a spokesman for the Sandy Row Orangemen said: "This decision was taken after listening to city centre traders and the local community; and in light of the heightened level of security due to republican terrorism.
"We believe a further parade at this time through the city centre would not be in the interests of our fellow citizens and therefore as an act of goodwill in this Christmas season we have decided to postpone the parade until early in the New Year."
He said that the next application for the march would not be made in the lifetime of the current Parades Commission – which comes to an end in December.