Northern Ireland

Belfast: Anti-internment parade organisers to seek judicial review

Police line stopping anti-internment parade
Image caption Petrol bombs, stones and bottles were thrown at police after they stopped an anti-internment parade entering Belfast city centre in 2015

The organisers of a republican anti-internment parade are to seek a judicial review of a ruling barring them from Belfast city centre.

The march is scheduled to take place on Sunday 7 August.

But the Parades Commission has banned it from passing the Lower Falls area.

The ruling follows trouble at last year's parade. The commission cited "deliberate breaches" of conditions for the 2015 parade and the "extremely high risks of public disorder" as reasons.

Three men and a woman were arrested after petrol bombs, stones and bottles were thrown at police after they stopped the parade entering Belfast city centre last year.

Image caption Police gathered in Belfast city centre ahead of the 2015 republican anti-internment parade

The Parades Commission said the group had not abided by parade conditions in the past and did not give enough assurances about this year's event.

However, the parade organisers said Irish republicans were being excluded from what should be a shared city centre space.

AIL spokesperson Gerard Fitzpatrick said: "We have absolutely no real explanation of why we cannot march into the city centre which is our city centre. We are told we live in a society of equals. Why can we not then march into our city centre?"

The parade's organisers expect to be in court for their challenge by the middle of next week.

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