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

[Irish Republican News]
Talks due on sectarian marches

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.

We have a favour to ask

We want to keep our publication as available as we can, so we need to ask for your help. Irish Republican News takes time, money and hard work to produce. But we do it because we believe it makes a difference. If everyone who reads our website helps fund it, our future would be much more secure.

For as little as £1, you can support Irish Republican News – and it only takes a minute. Thank you.

© 2011 Irish Republican News