Belfast Telegraph

The Twelfth: Protesters shout 'walk of shame' as Orange Order parade at Ardoyne passes off peacefully

PSNI hopeful for quiet day, but primed to act if needed

By Rebecca Black and Claire Williamson

A heavy police presence flanked the contentious Orange Order parade past the Ardoyne shop fronts while protesters shouted "walk of shame".

A major PSNI security operation will be ready - if needed - to tackle any disturbances across Northern Ireland as Twelfth parades get under way.

The vast majority of almost 600 parades are free of trouble every July, but a threat of violent disorder remains at a handful of flashpoints.

There was loyalist anger earlier this month when the Parades Commission again banned a return parade in north Belfast from passing the Ardoyne shop fronts.

Loyalists at a protest camp at nearby Twaddell Avenue have been calling for the Ligioniel lodges to be allowed to complete their return evening parade along the Crumlin Road since it was initially banned three years ago.

The nationalist Greater Ardoyne Residents Collective (GARC) has threatened action if the return parade is allowed.

On Tuesday morning the parade passed peacefully with a single band as Orangemen walked the route.

Protestors shouted "walk of shame" as the parade passed.

Others held a banner saying "resolution is possible".

At Ardoyneand Springfield Road this morn to support local residents in their protests, the banner says it all!

— Jennifer McCann(@jennifermccann0) July 12, 2016

More: Eleventh Night: Shankill Road homes damaged after fire spreads from bonfire

Yesterday the Crumlin Road was closed for several hours after a suspicious object at Brompton Park sparked a security alert.

Across the city in east Belfast, a ring of steel is expected to be erected around the nationalist Short Strand enclave this morning to separate residents and marchers.

Tensions remain high in Dunloy in north Antrim where a parade has been banned from going through the village. North Antrim DUP MLA Mervyn Storey said: "It is regrettable and still unacceptable that the Parades Commission is still imposing its draconian and dictatorial restrictions on a walk to church.

"It is all the more insulting that in this year when, as a nation, we remembered the fallen of the Somme, that the Orange brethren in Dunloy are refused to walk a short distance to lay a wreath in memory of those who died to protect freedom, the very freedom denied to the Orange brethren in Dunloy."

PSNI Chief Constable George Hamilton will deploy thousands of officers across the province, but has said he is "encouraged by the level of positive dialogue that is currently taking place in our communities", adding that it creates a more "optimistic outlook for the parading season".

He can also use contingency plans in place to call on additional support from other UK police forces if required.

Secretary of State Theresa Villiers has said she hopes the Twelfth will be a "successful and enjoyable day".

Belfast Telegraph

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