Belfast Telegraph

Police injured during Ormeau Road loyalist band parade in Belfast

Two police officers have been injured following a disturbance at a loyalist band parade on the Ormeau Road in Belfast.

The PSNI said the officers were injured during "minor disturbances" on the Ormeau Road at about 5:15pm on Tuesday.

A police motorcycle was also damaged. The police ombudsman confirmed that pepper spray was used by officers.

The Orange Order said the parade was returning from an annual Easter Tuesday event in Carrickfergus, Co Antrim.

Superintendent Darrin Jones said: "Following a minor disturbance on Ormeau Road, Belfast this evening a 26-year-old man was arrested and charged with two counts of assault on police and one count of disorderly behaviour.

"He is due to appear at Belfast Magistrates Court on Tuesday 26 April."

Meanwhile independent councillor Ruth Patterson claimed bandsmen and children were injured during the disturbances.

DUP MLA Emma Pengelly said: "A situation developed during the return leg of the Junior Orange Order Parade as the parade was proceeding up the Ormeau Road.

"There are many troubling reports, particularly in light of the number of young people and children, and I have been speaking to the PSNI at a senior level to ascertain what happened"

SDLP MLA Claire Hanna said: "I have spoken to senior PSNI officers after being contacted about an incident on the Ormeau Road this evening relating to a marching band from Carrickfergus.

"Police will be reviewing CCTV from various sources to corroborate officer report and I understand that they have given a full report to the Police Ombudsman.

"There has been substantial amount of comment about the incident on social media, including by political representatives.

"Unless people were actually witness to the events they should be very circumspect about their comments. The wires of policing and politics should not cross and it is inappropriate for representatives to use this incident to escalate tensions before the full facts are known.

"Ormeau is an exceptionally diverse and well integrated area and it is vital that any tensions are reduced ahead of the marching season."

There is no further information at this time.

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