Loyalists turn on themselves at east Belfast parade
Loyalists turn on themselves at east Belfast parade


After steel fencing was once again used by the Crown Forces to allow the Orange Order hold a coat-trailing parade past a nationalist community, violence erupted when some of the heavily intoxicated loyalists turned on themselves.

The PSNI’s ‘wall of steel’ was again deployed for the Orange parade to mark the Battle of the Somme in east Belfast as over 2,000 loyalists marched passed the Short Strand.

The parade featured a number of infamous ‘kick the pope’ bands openly playing tunes openly in support of the paramilitary UVF.

Videos posted on social media show d unrestrained mob fighting taking place between groups of young men. A number of individuals were heavily beaten in drunken assaults by gangs of rival youths on a street off the Newtownards Road.

With an election days away, there was no political condemnation by unionists, but loyalist spokesperson Jamie Bryson, who attended the march, played down the violence. He said it was due to people being “carried away fuelled by drink and the general energy of the evening”.

Meanwhile, a north Belfast residents’ group has rejected a proposal by the Orange Order to hold a parade past the republican Ardoyne area.

Greater Ardoyne Residents’ Collective (GARC) has dismissed a proposal to shift the ‘return’ time of a planned Twelfth parade from the evening of the Twelfth to the morning of July 13.

Attempts by Orangemen to bring back an evening ‘return’ parade on 12 July has long been opposed by residents in the area. Violence has erupted in the past after Twelfth of July parades, held to mark a 17th century Protestant battle victory, were blocked by sit-down protests.

A spokesman for Greater Ardoyne Residents’ Collective (GARC) rejected the latest Orange Order proposal.

“That’s a non-runner as far as GARC is concerned because we are opposed to all sectarian parades, whether in the morning or in the evening,” a spokesman said.

The spokesman added that the Orange Order proposal is not a “solution”, suggesting that an alternative route could be used.

The Sinn Féin-backed Crumlin Ardoyne Residents Association (CARA), has applied to hold a protest during the proposed evening ‘return’ parade.

CARA has said three lodges linked to a 2016 agreement have now broken that pact.

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

CARA said there has been no consultation or discussions concerning a return parade on the 13th and accused the Orange Order of acting in ‘bad faith’.

A decision on the parade is expected on Friday.

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