Ugly scenes as loyalists march
Ugly scenes as loyalists march


The PSNI looked on as loyalists tore down Irish tricolours and Palestinian flags during an anti-Catholic parade in a predominately nationalist area north of Belfast on Tuesday evening.

Images captured from the incident in Glengormley show loyalists rampaging through the area alongside flute bands, playing sectarian tunes and goading a small nationalist protest and climbing lamp-posts to pull down nationalist flags and symbols.

A significant police presence failed to intervene at the ‘Mini Twelfth’ march, held in advance of the main parades on July 12.

In a subsequent statement, a PSNI spokesperson said it had “received a report of the theft of a number of flags”, adding that “enquiries are ongoing”.

The scenes have fuelled calls for increased protests against Protestant parades in nationalist areas. They have also raised concerns over the potential for violence at a flashpoint ‘return’ parade which has been applied for through the strongly republican Ardoyne area of north Belfast on July 12th for the first time in eight years.

Ardoyne residents group Cara said the people of the area “have had peace and normality in their lives since 2016 and want that to continue into the future”.

Another residents’ group, the Greater Ardoyne Residents Coalition, has said that they will oppose and protest against any Orange march through the area.

Anti Imperialist Action Ireland called on all Republicans to support GARC and the Ardoyne community if the Orange march goes ahead.

“The Orange Order is a sectarian, fascist organisation that restricts its membership on the basis of Religious Fundamentalism and wants to march through republican and nationalist areas for no other reason then to raise sectarian tension and engage in triumphalist coat trailing,” they said.

“The people of Ardoyne do not want this parade and AIA supports them in this position.”

Sinn Fein representative for North Belfast, Gerry Kelly, said residents had “enjoyed peace and some semblance of normality in their lives” due to the deal struck in 2016.

“Sinn Fein will continue to stand with residents in their opposition to this parade which contravenes the 2016 agreement, and we will be raising our serious concerns with the Parades Commission,” he said.

Meanwhile, the Orange Order has been accused of also seeking to step up tensions with a campaign to resume their infamous attempts to parade down the Garvaghy Road in Portadown.

Saoradh said a “climate of fear” had returned to the Portadown nationalist community, a frequent target for sectarian intimidation and violence and siege-like conditions during past parade stand-offs.

Saoradh described the Orange Order, a Protestant masonic organisation, as “Ireland’s answer to the Ku Klux Klan”.

“Contrary to popular belief, the Drumcree dispute has never been resolved,” they said.

“Every Sunday to this day Orangemen march up to police lines at Drumcree, still hell bent on forcing their display of sectarian hate down the throats of a community that has made it perfectly clear will not tolerate it.”

“The people of the Garvaghy Road earned the respect and admiration of oppressed people all over the world for their courageous stand against the triumvirate of the Orange Order, the state, and the state’s proxies in the form of Billy Wright’s state sponsored murder gang.

“They emerged victorious in the end, and not one hate march has gone down the Garvaghy Road in this century.”

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