Northern Ireland

No trouble at Whiterock Orange Order parade

Police opening security gates
Image caption The Orange Lodge members passed through security gates

The Whiterock Orange Order parade in west Belfast has passed off without incident.

Members of one lodge passed through the Workman Avenue security gate onto the mainly nationalist Springfield Road to rejoin the rest of the parade.

A large security presence was in place to monitor the situation. A small number of nationalist residents held a silent protest as the parade passed by.

In previous years, the parade has been a violent flashpoint.

Chief Superintendent Mark Hamilton said he appreciated the "dignified" conduct of the marchers and the protesters during Saturday's parade.

"I would like to express my appreciation to those responsible for conducting and marshalling the parade in such a responsible way," he said.

"Equally, I recognise the extensive efforts made by the community in organising a protest that was dignified and well-managed.

"Both sides showed great leadership in ensuring that this event could pass off without disorder or major disruption to the community.

"I would urge everyone to continue to work together and find local solutions to local issues to ensure that we can continue to enjoy a peaceful summer."

During the parade five years ago, police officers were attacked with petrol and blast bombs, as well as live rounds.

The cost of policing that Whiterock parade and subsequent rioting in a number of loyalist areas was put at £3m by the PSNI.

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