Belfast Telegraph

Parades: Restrictions placed on republican march in Belfast

Loyalists groups protesting Henry Joy McCracken Flute Band parade limited to just 10 people each

By John Mulgrew

Restrictions have been placed on another republican march through Belfast later this month.

The march - consisting of 500 people and seven bands  - will march through north Belfast on Sunday, August 25.

The Parades Commission has ruled that the march by the Henry Joy McCracken Flute Band will not pass by the Clifton Street area when it takes to the streets later this month.

The commission ruled the parade will not march beyond the junction of Victoria Parade and North Queen Street, instead passing through Victoria Parade, Carlisle Road and Henry Place.

It is due to begin at 3pm and finish no later than 6pm.

Loyalist groups which protested at last Friday's anti-internment parade - in which violence flared leading to 50 police officers being injured - are due to oppose the latest republican parade this month.

But the commission has limited each group to only 10 people - significantly less than the 300 applied for.

That includes the Greater Concerned Residents Group Belfast and the Concerned Residents Group Shankill Belfast.

The groups will be allowed to take part in the demonstration from the junction of Clifton Street and North Queen Street.

There was widespread rioting following a similar parade last September which resulted in 50 police officers sustaining injuries, after trouble erupted as they tried to keep a loyalist crowd back from the republican parade.

On Friday, loyalists attacked police with missiles, smoke bombs and fireworks during a stand-off against an anti-internment republican rally in Belfast City Centre.

Around 50 officers were injured and several people arrested during the stand-off between officers and the loyalist mob.

Water cannon and AEP rounds were also used against the crowd.

Republican marchers due to pass through the city centre's arterial route were stopped by police only a couple of hundred metres away as violence flared.

Meanwhile, restrictions have also been placed on a loyal order march past a parading flashpoint, after violence erupted during a similar demonstration on the same date last year.

Four districts of the Belfast Grand Black Chapter will take part in the parade - also on on Sunday, August 25 - which will pass St Patrick's Catholic Church in Donegall Street.

To read the full determination by the Parades Commission on the Henry Joy McCracken Flute Band march click here.

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