Belfast Telegraph

Video: Up to 40 involved in Belfast city centre brawl during parade

Jonathan Bell

By Jonathan Bell

A brawl broke out as a returning parade from the 'Last Saturday' demonstrations made its way through Belfast city centre.

Eye witnesses said at one stage between 30 or 40 people were involved in the incident which happened on High Street at around 5.30pm.

It's thought a member of the public approached the parade before attempting to grab a flag or banner as it made its way down the street.

At one point - in video footage shot by an eye witness - one man can be seen hitting another resulting in a loud crack being heard before he walks away. The injured man can be seen holding his head before dropping to the ground as police approach.

The parade was stopped for around 10 minutes as bandsmen, members of the Royal Black Institution and police worked to calm tensions.

Scores of onlookers were drawn out into the street as the incident unfolded.

One young man is thought to have suffered a cut on his head.

"There already was a heavy police presence for the parade," said one eye witness.

"But it all just kicked off and there was a lot of pushing shoving and someone must have got punched.

"It was just a big brawl.

"I think someone tried to grab a flag or banner and that sparked it off.

"There were lots of people come out from the surrounding bars to watch and they were shocked to see it break out on a sunny Saturday evening."

A spokesman for the Royal Black Institution said it was aware of an incident during a return feeder parade, making its way home from a Last Saturday demonstration in Holywood.

"The Institution understands that as the parade was progressing, several members of the public charged into a flute band in an unprovoked attack, targeting two standard bearers and trying to remove their standards," a spokesman said.

"It is not believed any Sir Knights were involved in the incident.

"The Institution appeals for any witnesses to co-operate with the police."

Police said they were investigating.

Police at the scene after the incident.
Police at the scene after the incident.

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