Northern Ireland

Northern Ireland leaders appeal for calm ahead of parades

12th gallery
Image caption Thousands are expected at 18 demonstrations across Northern Ireland on Tuesday

The first and deputy first minister and the justice minister have called for a peaceful and safe parading season.

Arlene Foster, Martin McGuinness and Claire Sugden said the celebration of different traditions in a peaceful manner had the potential to enrich society.

They called for any protests to be done in a peaceful way which would not undermine law and order.

Twelfth of July parades are being held across NI on Tuesday.

"As we move into a period which has in the past resulted in heightened tensions, we encourage everyone to conduct themselves in a dignified and lawful way," they said in a statement.

Image caption The ministers have called for a peaceful and safe parading season

'Respectful'

"We all have a responsibility to show leadership and to continue to seek resolutions to contentious issues through discussion and ensure any difficulties are identified and resolved peacefully thus showing respect for the views and wishes of everyone in the community.

"We want to build a future that is respectful, inclusive and vibrant.

Image copyright Press Eye
Image caption They have called for any protests to be carried out in a way which would not undermine law and order

"Dialogue and engagement are key to ensuring mutual understanding and co-operation, and we welcome the ongoing commitment of all involved to maintaining a peaceful and safe society."

The 12th of July parades mark the 326th anniversary of King William III's victory at the Battle of the Boyne in 1690.

Bonfires are due to be lit in loyalist areas later to mark Eleventh Night celebrations.

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