RIOT police swamped a banned loyalist parade on Saturday morning in pouring rain
Up to 200 cops in jeeps placed a ring of steel around the Ardoyne shops interface where more than 100 Orangemen wanted to march. The Orangemen saw this as a parade of ‘unfinished business’. They were banned by the Parades Commission from marching what they believe is their ‘traditional route’ past the Ardoyne interface last Twelfth of July. Rioting erupted then. But there was a stark contrast to that at breakfast time on Saturday. The Orangemen, and their supporters – about 200 – marched up to police lines, played a few tunes, and then, drenched, they dispersed. On Saturday night, the organisers of the protest parade, who were joined by about a score of supporters from the nearby Twaddell ‘Human Rights’ camp, pictured above, denied that the parade in pouring rain was a ‘damp squib’. There have been several applications from bands to complete the march, which was due to go past a nationalist area, but all were turned down by the Parades Commission after violent clashes last summer. At 9am on Saturday morning, bands made their way to the heavily policed lines. Scores of riot squad jeeps were lined up around the flashpoint Ardoyne roundabout and in streets nearby. But the bandsmen left the flashpoint at around 9.20am, long before the Parades Commission deadline of 10am for them to leave.
With many thanks to: Jamie McDowell, Sunday World.