Irish Republican News · June 27, 2011
[Irish Republican News]

[Irish Republican News]
IRISH REPUBLICAN NEWS: Talks due on sectarian marches
Talks due on sectarian marches
whiterock2011.jpg

The body that rules on contentious marches in the Six Counties is to meet the North’s First Minister and Deputy First Minister at Stormont tomorrow [Tuesday] in advance of the climax of the Protestant sectarian marching season.

The talks between the Parades Commission and Peter Robinson and Martin McGuinness are expected to include discussion about last week’s mass loyalist assault on the nationalist Short Strand, which rocked the area for two consecutive nights and resulted in the shooting of three people and left one resident in a coma with a fractured skull.

The attempt to burn down the isolated Catholic enclave was described as the worst conflict in the area in at least ten years.

Loyalist community representatives said that tensions boiled over because the British government had not handed out enough money, angering the powerful local UVF chief known in the media as the ‘Beast of the East’.

The British government has since announced it will review the level of grants issued to loyalist community groups in the area.

Saturday’s annual Whiterock parade by the Orange Order in northwest Belfast, which sparked serious trouble in previous years, passed off quietly in the presence of a small, peaceful protest by nationalists.

Further sensitive parades are looming, including this Friday’s ‘mini Twelfth’ in east Belfast, and the Drumcree parade in Portadown, County Armagh, as well as ‘the Twelfth’ itself, the anniversary of a famous 17th century battle victory in County Meath by the Protestant William of Orange.

There had been fears that a loyalist march that passed close to the Short Strand on Friday night might spark fresh violence.

However, the march appeared to have passed off relatively peacefully as community “stewards” in high-visibility jackets attempted to keep the area calm.

© 2011 Irish Republican News