Tension remains high in North


Tensions remain high in north Belfast after a Stormont minister said the violence that broke out in the city last weekend – after a loyalist parade flouted the terms laid down by the Parades Commission – was “almost inevitable”.

The DUP’s Nelson McCausland refused to condemn the actions of the Royal Black Institution, which defied a ban on playing music outside a Catholic church in Belfast city-centre. An Orange band was previously filmed
parading around in circles and playing sectarian music outside the same church on the Twelfth of July.

There are fears of further flare-ups when the Orange Order applies to follow the same route for a march at the end of September.

Over 2,000 marchers and 33 bands took part in Saturday’s event to mark the centenary of the Ulster Covenant. The Shankill Road-based Young Conway Volunteers - the band involved in the Twelfth of July incident - had been barred from marching past St Patrick’s Church on Donegall Street, but this was ignored. Music was also played. Seven PSNI officers were injured in the resulting clashes between protestors, marchers and the police. Three people, including a 13-year-old boy, have been arrested.

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