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Parade for Irish rebel Henry Joy McCracken passes off peacefully

A republican parade to remember an 18th century revolutionary has passed off peacefully, despite its route crossing paths with loyalist protesters.

The event honoured United Irishmen leader Henry Joy McCracken and involved hundreds of marchers and four bands. Three nights of rioting followed the same parade in 2012.

Now in its fifth year, the Henry Joy McCracken Parade set off from Ardoyne Avenue under a heavy police presence at 2.30pm, passing Clifton Street Orange Hall before making its way to Henry Place.

Restrictions were in place along the contentious part of the route on Clifton Street where loyalist protesters had gathered outside the Orange Hall.

The loyalist City of Belfast Royal Black District Chapter's Parade then made its return from an earlier march among fears violence would erupt, but both parades passed off peacefully.

The Parades Commission had imposed restrictions on both sides including limiting the number of protesters and those accompanying the republican parade.

Spectators were curtailed behind lines of riot squad officers, who kept the rival factions apart and limited the disruption.

Belfast Telegraph