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Twelfth of July: 3,000 police officers to help keep the peace

By Lesley-Anne McKeown

Published 10/07/2015

People stand near a small bonfire in the New Mossley area of Belfast as Loyalists prepare for the Twelfth of July marching season
People stand near a small bonfire in the New Mossley area of Belfast as Loyalists prepare for the Twelfth of July marching season
Orange Order and Police Service of Northern Ireland (PSNI) have appealed for calm

More than 3,000 police officers will be deployed to help keep the peace during the annual Twelfth of July parades in Northern Ireland.

Tensions are running high in a number of flashpoint areas of Belfast but the Orange Order and Police Service of Northern Ireland (PSNI) have appealed for calm.

In a statement, the Grand Orange Lodge of Ireland said: "The Twelfth has always been, and will remain, a day of celebration and a family day out. Those who oppose us seek to destroy this. They must not be allowed to succeed.

"Anyone who responds with violence to such provocation only does a disservice to our cause and undermines all that we stand for."

The Twelfth is the most significant date on the loyalist calendar when the victory of the protestant King William of Orange over Catholic King James II at the Battle of the Boyne in 1690 is celebrated.

This year more than 10,000 people are expected to take part in over 800 Orange Order demonstrations across the region on Monday July 13.

Although most parades pass off peacefully, the Parades Commission - a Government-appointed body set up to rule on contentious marches - has imposed restrictions on more than 50 events deemed "sensitive".

The Orange Order has branded the Parades Commission "discredited and inept" and members have picketed its headquarters to vent opposition to a number of recent determinations.

The biggest commemoration will be in Belfast where 71 bands and hundreds of Orangemen will march through the city centre.

An estimated 1,500 PSNI officers will be on duty to monitor the parade which, at its peak, could take longer than an hour to pass any given point.

North Down Twelfth demonstration in Newtownards. Amy and Charlie Que with Molly Jupp from Holywood. Pic Picture by Darren Kidd / Press Eye
North Down Twelfth demonstration in Newtownards. Amy and Charlie Que with Molly Jupp from Holywood. Pic Picture by Darren Kidd / Press Eye
Orange Order parades pictured marching through Belfast on July 12, 2014. Photo: Kelvin Boyes / Press Eye
Allen Ford from Nevada, USA, pictured during the Twelfth of July demonstration in Limavady which is one of the Orange Orders flagship parades. Picture Martin McKeown. Inpresspics.com. 12.07.14
Roses Lane Ends Temperance Flute Band pictured leading the praise during the platform proceedings at the Twelfth demonstration at Ballinderry.
Georgina Davis pictured with her brother Christopher and her father Clark (members of Ballymacash LOL No 317) at Lisburn Orange Hall as brethren from Lisburn District LOL No 6 get ready to leave for the twelfth demonstration at Ballinderry.
Adele Bogle and Michelle Price get a selfie with the First Minister Peter Robinson at the twelfth demonstration at Ballinderry.
Caitlin Adams, Hailey Adams and Jessica Harper pictured at the twelfth demonstration at Ballinderry.
Wor Bro Norman Bell (Worshipful District Master of Ballinderry District LOL No 3) pictured with Bro Paul McCullough (Worshipful Master) and members of Ballinderry Black Reds LOL No 148 pictured prior to leaving Ballinderry War Memorial Hall for the twelfth demonstration at Ballinderry.
Press Eye - Belfast - Northern Ireland - 12th July 2014 - Picture by Darren Kidd / Press Eye North Down Twelfth demonstration in Newtownards. North Down First Flute
Press Eye - Belfast - Northern Ireland - 12th July 2014 - Picture by Darren Kidd / Press Eye North Down Twelfth demonstration in Newtownards. Claire Thompson
Press Eye - Belfast - Northern Ireland - 12th July 2014 - Picture by Darren Kidd / Press Eye North Down Twelfth demonstration in Newtownards. Kenzie and Kyla Richard with Bethany McMillan fro Newtownards
Press Eye - Belfast - Northern Ireland - 12th July 2014 - Picture by Darren Kidd / Press Eye North Down Twelfth demonstration in Newtownards.
Press Eye - Belfast - Northern Ireland - 12th July 2014 - Picture by Darren Kidd / Press Eye North Down Twelfth demonstration in Newtownards. LOL 1758
Press Eye - Belfast - Northern Ireland - 12th July 2014 - Picture by Darren Kidd / Press Eye North Down Twelfth demonstration in Newtownards. LOL 1592
Ballinderry District LOL No 3 colour party pictured prior to leaving Ballinderry War Memorial Hall for the twelfth demonstration at Ballinderry. L to R: Bros - Alan Barnes, Stephen Farr, Graham McDonald, Raymond Thompson and Neil Gilmore.
Press Eye - Belfast - Northern Ireland - 12th July 2014 - Picture by Kelvin Boyes / Press Eye.
Press Eye - Belfast - Northern Ireland - 12th July 2014 - Picture by Kelvin Boyes / Press Eye. Gerald Solinas speaks to the PSNI at this evenings 12th July return parade at Twaddell Avenue in Ardoyne north Belfast
Press Eye - Belfast - Northern Ireland - 12th July 2014 - Picture by Kelvin Boyes / Press Eye. Gerald Solinas, left, and James Small pictured at Camp Twaddell at Ardoyne in North Belfast with other protestors. Tens of thousands of Orangemen and women are taking part in 12 July celebrations across Northern Ireland. The 12 July is traditionally the biggest day in the Protestant marching season - running from April to August - and 17 parades are due to take place. They mark King William III's victory over Catholic King James at the Battle of the Boyne in 1690.
Press Eye - Belfast - Northern Ireland - 12th July 2014 - Picture by Kelvin Boyes / Press Eye. Christian peace campaigners pictured at this evenings 12th July return parade at Twaddell Avenue in Ardoyne north Belfast There was a heavy police presence in the Ardoyne area. No resident protest groups held demonstrations. It comes after the Parades Commission ruled that the outward parade could proceed, however the evening return leg past the interface has been banned.
Press Eye - Belfast - Northern Ireland - 12th July 2014 - Picture by Darren Kidd / Press Eye North Down Twelfth demonstration in Newtownards. Ulsters Pride WLOL 110: Effie Butler, Jean Rodgers, Marion White and Margaret Jackson
Press Eye - Belfast - Northern Ireland - 12th July 2014 - Picture by Darren Kidd / Press Eye North Down Twelfth demonstration in Newtownards.
Press Eye - Belfast - Northern Ireland - 12th July 2014 - Picture by Darren Kidd / Press Eye North Down Twelfth demonstration in Newtownards.
Press Eye - Belfast - Northern Ireland - 12th July 2014 - Picture by Darren Kidd / Press Eye North Down Twelfth demonstration in Newtownards. LOL 164
Press Eye - Belfast - Northern Ireland - 12th July 2014 - Picture by Darren Kidd / Press Eye North Down Twelfth demonstration in Newtownards. Courtney Palmer - Ballyhalbert Flute Band
Press Eye - Belfast - Northern Ireland - 12th July 2014 - Picture by Darren Kidd / Press Eye North Down Twelfth demonstration in Newtownards.
Press Eye - Belfast - Northern Ireland - 12th July 2014 - Picture by Darren Kidd / Press Eye North Down Twelfth demonstration in Newtownards. WLOL 110
Press Eye - Belfast - Northern Ireland - 12th July 2014 - Picture by Darren Kidd / Press Eye North Down Twelfth demonstration in Newtownards.
Press Eye - Belfast - Northern Ireland - 12th July 2014 - Picture by Darren Kidd / Press Eye North Down Twelfth demonstration in Newtownards.
Press Eye - Belfast - Northern Ireland - 12th July 2014 - Picture by Darren Kidd / Press Eye North Down Twelfth demonstration in Newtownards. Upper Ards District 11Laura Gorman of Donaghadee
©Press Eye Ltd Northern Ireland - 12th July 2017 Members and supporters of the Orange Order pictured at the end of the parade at Barnetts Demesne in Belfast. Picture by Stephen Hamilton /Presseye.com
©Press Eye Ltd Northern Ireland - 12th July 2017 Members and supporters of the Orange Order pictured at the end of the parade at Barnetts Demesne in Belfast. Picture by Stephen Hamilton /Presseye.com
©Press Eye Ltd Northern Ireland - 12th July 2017 Members and supporters of the Orange Order pictured at the end of the parade at Barnetts Demesne in Belfast. Picture by Stephen Hamilton /Presseye.com
©Press Eye Ltd Northern Ireland - 12th July 2017 Members and supporters of the Orange Order pictured at the end of the parade at Barnetts Demesne in Belfast. Picture by Stephen Hamilton /Presseye.com
©Press Eye Ltd Northern Ireland - 12th July 2017 Dempsey Courtney Ballentine pictured with Mum Lynn and Sister Jody at Barnetts Demesne in Belfast. Picture by Stephen Hamilton /Presseye.com
©Press Eye Ltd Northern Ireland - 12th July 2017 Members and supporters of the Orange Order pictured at the end of the parade at Barnetts Demesne in Belfast. Picture by Stephen Hamilton /Presseye.com
©Press Eye Ltd Northern Ireland - 12th July 2017 Members and supporters of the Orange Order pictured at the end of the parade at Barnetts Demesne in Belfast. Picture by Stephen Hamilton /Presseye.com
©Press Eye Ltd Northern Ireland - 12th July 2017 Members and supporters of the Orange Order pictured at the end of the parade at Barnetts Demesne in Belfast. Picture by Stephen Hamilton /Presseye.com
©Press Eye Ltd Northern Ireland - 12th July 2017 Orange Brethren from Sandy Row arrive at the field first aat Barnetts Demesne in Belfast. Picture by Stephen Hamilton /Presseye.com
©Press Eye Ltd Northern Ireland - 12th July 2017 Members and supporters of the Orange Order pictured at the end of the parade at Barnetts Demesne in Belfast. Picture by Stephen Hamilton /Presseye.com
©Press Eye Ltd Northern Ireland - 12th July 2017 Members and supporters of the Orange Order pictured at the end of the parade at Barnetts Demesne in Belfast. Picture by Stephen Hamilton /Presseye.com
©Press Eye Ltd Northern Ireland - 12th July 2017 Members and supporters of the Orange Order pictured at the end of the parade at Barnetts Demesne in Belfast. Picture by Stephen Hamilton /Presseye.com
©Press Eye Ltd Northern Ireland - 12th July 2017 Members and supporters of the Orange Order pictured at the end of the parade at Barnetts Demesne in Belfast. Picture by Stephen Hamilton /Presseye.com
©Press Eye Ltd Northern Ireland - 12th July 2017 Members and supporters of the Orange Order pictured at the end of the parade at Barnetts Demesne in Belfast. Picture by Stephen Hamilton /Presseye.com
©Press Eye Ltd Northern Ireland - 12th July 2017 Members and supporters of the Orange Order pictured at the end of the parade at Barnetts Demesne in Belfast. Picture by Stephen Hamilton /Presseye.com
©Press Eye Ltd Northern Ireland - 12th July 2017 Members and supporters of the Orange Order pictured at the end of the parade at Barnetts Demesne in Belfast. Picture by Stephen Hamilton /Presseye.com
©Press Eye Ltd Northern Ireland - 12th July 2017 Cat Thompson and Patricia Doherty from Belfast Members pictured at the end of the parade at Barnetts Demesne in Belfast. Picture by Stephen Hamilton /Presseye.com
©Press Eye Ltd Northern Ireland - 12th July 2017 Junior Minister Jonathan Bell pictured at the end of the parade at Barnetts Demesne in Belfast. Picture by Stephen Hamilton /Presseye.com
©Press Eye Ltd Northern Ireland - 12th July 2017 Members and supporters of the Orange Order pictured at the end of the parade at Barnetts Demesne in Belfast. Picture by Stephen Hamilton /Presseye.com
©Press Eye Ltd Northern Ireland - 12th July 2017 Arthur Campbell and David and Eric Hay pictured at Barnetts Demesne in Belfast. Picture by Stephen Hamilton /Presseye.com
©Press Eye Ltd Northern Ireland - 12th July 2017 MLA Peter Weir pictured at Barnetts Demesne in Belfast. Picture by Stephen Hamilton /Presseye.com
©Press Eye Ltd Northern Ireland - 12th July 2017 Members and supporters of the Orange Order pictured at the end of the parade at Barnetts Demesne in Belfast. Picture by Stephen Hamilton /Presseye.com
12/07/2014: Crowds line the streets of Belfast city centre to watch the annual twelfth of July orange parades. Photograph: Stephen Kilkenny/Photocall Ireland
12/07/2014: Crowds line the streets of Belfast city centre to watch the annual twelfth of July orange parades. Photograph: Stephen Kilkenny/Photocall Ireland
Press Eye - Belfast - Northern Ireland - 12th July 2014 - Picture by Darren Kidd / Press Eye North Down Twelfth demonstration in Newtownards. Jimmy Lee - North Down First Flute
Press Eye - Belfast - Northern Ireland - 12th July 2014 - Picture by Darren Kidd / Press Eye North Down Twelfth demonstration in Newtownards. Kenzie and Kyla Richard with Bethany McMillan fro Newtownards
Press Eye - Belfast - Northern Ireland - 12th July 2014 - Picture by Darren Kidd / Press Eye North Down Twelfth demonstration in Newtownards. George Smyth LOL1919
Orange parades in Belfast on July 12, 2014. Photo: Colm Lenaghan/Pacemaker
Orange parades in Belfast on July 12, 2014. Photo: Colm Lenaghan/Pacemaker
Nationalist protesters outside St Patrick's Church as Bands and Orangemen take part during the 12th of July celebrations in Belfast. Photo: Colm Lenaghan/Pacemaker
Orange parades in Belfast on July 12, 2014. Photo: Colm Lenaghan/Pacemaker
Nationalist protesters outside St Patrick's Church as Bands and Orangemen take part during the 12th of July celebrations in Belfast. Photo: Colm Lenaghan/Pacemaker
Orange parades in Belfast on July 12, 2014. Photo: Kelvin Boyes / Press Eye
Orange parades in Belfast on July 12, 2014. Photo: Kelvin Boyes / Press Eye
BELFAST, NORTHERN IRELAND - JULY 12: Orangemen march past Ardoyne this morning before the start of Northern Ireland's annual 12th of July march in Belfast city centre on July 12, 2014 in Belfast. (Photo by Charles McQuillan/Getty Images)
BELFAST, NORTHERN IRELAND - JULY 12: Orangeman band members play their drums during the annual 12th of July march as it made it's way through Belfast city centre on July 12, 2014. (Photo by Charles McQuillan/Getty Images)
BELFAST, NORTHERN IRELAND - JULY 12: A female band supporter runs past a shop front on her way to watch the start of the annual 12th of July march in Belfast city centre on July 12, 2014 in Belfast. (Photo by Charles McQuillan/Getty Images)
BELFAST, NORTHERN IRELAND - JULY 12: An Orange bandsman catches his baton during the 12th of July annual march through Belfast city centre on July 12, 2014. (Photo by Charles McQuillan/Getty Images)
Orange parades in Belfast on July 12, 2014. Photo: Kelvin Boyes / Press Eye
Orange parades in Belfast on July 12, 2014. Photo: Kelvin Boyes / Press Eye
Orange parades in Belfast on July 12, 2014. Photo: Kelvin Boyes / Press Eye
Orange parades in Belfast on July 12, 2014. Photo: Kelvin Boyes / Press Eye
Orange parades in Belfast on July 12, 2014. Photo: Colm Lenaghan/Pacemaker
Orange parades in Belfast on July 12, 2014. Photo: Colm Lenaghan/Pacemaker
Orange parades in Belfast on July 12, 2014. Photo: Colm Lenaghan/Pacemaker
Orange parades in Belfast on July 12, 2014. Photo: Colm Lenaghan/Pacemaker
Orange parades in Belfast on July 12, 2014. Photo: Colm Lenaghan/Pacemaker
A Loyalist supporter challenges police officers after an Orange Order parade made it's way down Crumlin Road adjacent to the nationalist Ardoyne neighbourhood as part of the annual Twelfth of July celebrations, marking the victory of King William III's victory over James II at the Battle of the Boyne in 1690
Progressive Unionist Party (PUP) leader Billy Hutchinson (second right in black top) watches on as an Orange Order parade makes it's way down Crumlin Road adjacent to the nationalist Ardoyne neighbourhood as part of the annual Twelfth of July celebrations, marking the victory of King William III's victory over James II at the Battle of the Boyne in 1690
A loyalist supporter dressed as a riot police officer approaches police as they await an Orange Order parade on Crumlin Road adjacent to the nationalist Ardoyne neighbourhood as part of the annual Twelfth of July celebrations, marking the victory of King William III's victory over James II at the Battle of the Boyne in 1690
An Orange Order parade on Crumlin Road adjacent to the nationalist Ardoyne neighbourhood as part of the annual Twelfth of July celebrations, marking the victory of King William III's victory over James II at the Battle of the Boyne in 1690
A loyalist supporter dressed as a riot police officer approaches police as they await an Orange Order parade on Crumlin Road adjacent to the nationalist Ardoyne neighbourhood as part of the annual Twelfth of July celebrations, marking the victory of King William III's victory over James II at the Battle of the Boyne in 1690
12th July 2014 Photo by William Cherry/Presseye Orangemen and bands march through Lisburn city centre during their Twelfth of July parade before they get on buses and travel to the main parade in Ballinderry
12th July 2014 Photo by William Cherry/Presseye Orangemen and bands march through Lisburn city centre during their Twelfth of July parade before they get on buses and travel to the main parade in Ballinderry
12th July 2014 Photo by William Cherry/Presseye Orangemen and bands march through Lisburn city centre during their Twelfth of July parade before they get on buses and travel to the main parade in Ballinderry
12th July 2014 Photo by William Cherry/Presseye Orangemen and bands march through Lisburn city centre during their Twelfth of July parade before they get on buses and travel to the main parade in Ballinderry
12th July 2014 Photo by William Cherry/Presseye Orangemen and bands march through Lisburn city centre during their Twelfth of July parade before they get on buses and travel to the main parade in Ballinderry
12th July 2014 Photo by William Cherry/Presseye Orangemen and bands march through Lisburn city centre during their Twelfth of July parade before they get on buses and travel to the main parade in Ballinderry
12th July 2014 Photo by William Cherry/Presseye Orangemen and bands march through Lisburn city centre during their Twelfth of July parade before they get on buses and travel to the main parade in Ballinderry
12th July 2014 Photo by William Cherry/Presseye Orangemen and bands march through Lisburn city centre during their Twelfth of July parade before they get on buses and travel to the main parade in Ballinderry
Loyalist protesters and PSNI officers at the Twaddell Avenue interface at Ardoyne, north Belfast this morning. Photograph by Kelvin Boyes / Press Eye
Loyalist protesters and PSNI officers at the Twaddell Avenue interface at Ardoyne, north Belfast this morning. Photograph by Kelvin Boyes / Press Eye
Residents and police pictured after Orangemen, bands and supporters march past Ardoyne shop fronts this morning. Photo Aidan O'Reilly/Pacemaker Press
Orangemen, bands and supporters march past Ardoyne shop fronts this morning. Photo Aidan O'Reilly/Pacemaker Press
The police presence at Twaddell Avenue as Orangemen, bands and supporters march pass Ardoyne shop fronts this morning. Photo Aidan O'Reilly/Pacemaker Press
A Twaddell avenue protester dressed as a PSNI officer is pictured as Orangemen, bands and supporters march past Ardoyne shop fronts this morning. Photo Aidan O'Reilly/Pacemaker Press
Sinn Fein's Gerry Kelly speaking after Orangemen, bands and supporters march past Ardoyne shop fronts this morning. Photo Aidan O'Reilly/Pacemaker Press
Nelson McCausland MLA (centre) joins loyalist marchers and PSNI officers at the Twaddell Avenue interface at Ardoyne, north Belfast this morning. Photograph by Kelvin Boyes / Press Eye
Loyalist protesters and PSNI officers at the Twaddell Avenue interface at Ardoyne, north Belfast this morning. Photograph by Kelvin Boyes / Press Eye
Loyalist protesters and PSNI officers at the Twaddell Avenue interface at Ardoyne, north Belfast this morning. Photograph by Kelvin Boyes / Press Eye
Loyalist marchers and PSNI officers at the Twaddell Avenue interface at Ardoyne, north Belfast this morning. Photograph by Kelvin Boyes / Press Eye
Loyalist marchers and PSNI officers at the Twaddell Avenue interface at Ardoyne, north Belfast this morning. Photograph by Kelvin Boyes / Press Eye
Loyalist marchers and PSNI officers at the Twaddell Avenue interface at Ardoyne, north Belfast this morning. Photograph by Kelvin Boyes / Press Eye
Loyalist marchers and PSNI officers at the Twaddell Avenue interface at Ardoyne, north Belfast this morning. Photograph by Kelvin Boyes / Press Eye
New PSNI Chief Constable George Hamilton talks to officers at the Twaddell Avenue interface at Ardoyne, north Belfast this morning. Phtograph by Kelvin Boyes/Presseye

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One of the largest policing operations will be mounted at Ardoyne, a volatile community interface in north Belfast where opposing factions have clashed with police in the past.

As it did last year, permission has been given, with restrictions, for Orangemen to parade down a disputed section of the Crumlin Road on the morning of July 12.

But the evening parade, when Orangemen return from traditional celebrations elsewhere, has been prohibited from passing along the road.

Loyalists have manned a protest camp in the area since the restrictions were first imposed in 2013 requiring a policing operation costing around £17 million.

Nationalist residents groups are also expected to stage protests to show their opposition to the Orange Order.

Last year there was no disorder in Ardoyne, but in 2013 loyalists attacked police lines.

In previous years republicans have rioted in the area.

Meanwhile, there will also be a significant police presence in east Belfast where sectarian tensions have increased between communities in the Newtownards Road and Short Strand areas.

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The PSNI has said most of its 58 public order units would be on standby in Belfast.

Although water canon and baton rounds could be used to quell any rioting, senior officers have urged the Orange Order and loyalist leaders to avoid the potential for violence by providing marshals.

Mervyn Gibson, Orange Order chaplain, said they would monitor parades.

He said: "It is our job to marshal the parades and we will. But we cannot do the police's job to deal with any violence. We hope that no violence occurs."

The PSNI also has the ability to call in reinforcements from other forces across the UK but commanders have stressed the move would be a last resort in "extreme" circumstances.

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