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East Belfast Somme Memorial parade passes without incident

PSNI erect ‘wall of steel’ as safety measure ahead of event

The Somme Memorial parade in east Belfast passed off without major incident on Thursday evening.

Police had erected a steel wall between Short Strand and Albertbridge Road in order to prevent any disorder from breaking out.

Around 1,900 participants took part, which was broken down into three groups of 500 and one group of 400.

The precautions had been taken due to the coronavirus restrictions.

The event was one of more than 90 parades taking place across Northern Ireland, according to the Parades Commission website.

It is often referred to as the mini Twelfth. Taking place in the east of the city it was expected to be the biggest gathering on Thursday night.

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Ahead of the Belfast parade, which started around 6pm in the Newtownards Road area, police said there was likely to be traffic disruption.

The PSNI also said traffic will be disrupted for several hours elsewhere.

"Please be advised that traffic will be disrupted in Coleraine this evening due to a parade in the town from 6.45pm to 11pm approximately,” said a police spokesperson.

"Diversions will be clearly signposted and officers will be on duty to provide assistance."

Further parades and events are expected to take place on Friday evening.

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