Northern Ireland

New band refused for Ardoyne parade

Overnight riots in Ardoyne
Image caption There was three consecutive nights of rioting in north Belfast in July

The Parades Commission has refused permission for a replacement band to join the Apprentice Boys' parade as it passes a north Belfast flashpoint on Saturday.

Nationalist politicians had criticised the Apprentice Boys' application for Hillview Flute Band to accompany Saturday's feeder parade as it passes Ardoyne shops.

The Commission had previously ruled no band should accompany Ligoniel Walker Club on this part of its route. This banned the Shankill Star Flute Band.

Nationalists had accused the Shankill Star band of glorifying the UVF killer Brian Robinson.

Sinn Fein representatives are meeting members of the Parades commission on Wednesday to discuss the loyal order parades in Ardoyne and Rasharkin at the weekend.

There were three nights of rioting by republicans in Ardoyne starting on 12 July, when an Orange Order parade passed the area.

On Tuesday, the commission said it had taken this into consideration when banning the Shankill Star Flute Band but added it had to consider parades individually.

A spokesperson said: "This is a traditional parade by a branch of the Apprentice Boys of Derry which has never been involved in misbehaviour let alone violence on this annual parade.

"The commission is fully confident that the Ligoniel Walker Club will parade this part of the Crumlin Road with respect and dignity as has been seen by their past behaviour."

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