Northern Ireland

Derry Apprentice Boys parade passes peacefully

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Media captionA band performs in Londonderry as part of the Apprentice Boys parade

The main Apprentice Boys Relief of Derry parade in Londonderry passed without major incident on Saturday.

A large-scale security operation was launched ahead of the parade which began at 1230 BST.

Police made five arrests for public order offences during the parade.

A protest at a north Belfast feeder parade on Saturday morning passed off without incident. More than 50 nationalists protested at the Ardoyne shopfronts.

The first part of the Derry parade also took place on Saturday morning with Apprentice Boys accompanied by nine bands completing a circuit of the city's historic walls.

A wreath-laying ceremony at the Cenotaph and a religious ceremony at St Columb's Cathedral took place before the main parade started.

Insults exchanged

During the main parade, rival factions exchanged insults and some bands refused to stop playing when asked to do so by marshals, but there were no major incidents. Five arrests were made.

A protest due to be held by dissident republicans in the centre of Londonderry was cancelled.

It was organised to highlight a dispute between dissident republican prisoners in Maghaberry jail and prison authorities.

However, following the intervention of mediators, the dispute was resolved on Thursday.

The protest on Saturday was due to coincide with the annual Apprentice Boys march.

Chief Superintendent Stephen Martin said: "All sides across the spectrum so far have acted very responsibly, behaviour has been good and from a policing point of view we're very pleased so far."

Thirteen young Apprentices closed the gates of the walled city to stop the advancing forces of the Catholic King James' army in 1688.

Saturday's parade marks the relief of the city and the lifting of the 105-day siege in 1689.

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