Northern Ireland

Whiterock parade in west Belfast passes off peacefully

orangemen pass through peaceline on Workman avenue in west Belfast
Image caption Around 50 Orangemen passed through the peaceline on Workman Avenue

The annual Whiterock parade in west Belfast has passed off peacefully.

Around 50 Orangemen were allowed through the peaceline on Workman Avenue to walk on to the mainly nationalist Springfield Road.

The other 850 marchers and bandsmen were re-routed to join the Springfield Road at a different point.

Nationalist residents held a peaceful protest as the parade passed by. Police praised marchers and protesters for their responsible approach.

Assistant Chief Constable Alistair Finlay said: "I was pleased and encouraged by the dignified and respectful way in which the event was conducted and marshalled.

"There was a very high standard of community co-operation and community marshalling and everyone went to great lengths to ensure the event passed off without incident.

'Behind the scenes'

"It is testimony to the commitment and leadership of all involved that an event such as this, and any associated protests, can take place peacefully.

"The parade passed off without serious incident and that is largely due to a lot of hard work that went on beforehand behind the scenes.

"Balancing the rights of all interested parties is never easy. A parade like this is looked upon from many viewpoints, including those of the local residents, the marchers and the protesters.

"Our aim was to facilitate all of these viewpoints as best we could. The fact that there was no disorder and no need for police intervention is, I believe, an indication of a successful parade."

"My officers and I would look forward to everyone continuing to work together to build on the successes of this evening," he concluded.