FOUR ARRESTED OVER RIOTS AS ORANGE ORDER PREPARES FOR SECOND WOODVALE PARADE

Police confront loyalist rioters in the Woodvale area of north Belfast on Saturday evening

Police confront loyalist rioters in the Woodvale area of north Belfast last Saturday evening

DETECTIVES investigating rioting in Northern Ireland have arrested four people over night.

The arrests in Belfast and Portadown come as the Orange Order prepares for a parade from the Shankill Road to the Woodvale Road on Saturday afternoon.

A 33-year-old man was arrested at Woodvale Road in north Belfast on suspicion of disorderly behaviour and possessing an offensive weapon.

A 57-year-old man was arrested on suspicion of a riotous behaviour offence alleged to have occurred on 12 July after he attended a police station in Belfast.

In Portadown, Co Armagh, two people were detained.

A 20-year-old man was arrested on suspicion of disorderly behaviour at Montague Street. A 37-year-old man was arrested on suspicion of disorderly behaviour at Corcrain Avenue.

“There have been no reports of serious disorder,” a police spokesperson said, referring to Friday night.

No AEPs were discharged and no officers were injured, the statement added.

Seventy-one police officers – 68 PSNI and three mutual aid – have been injured in parades or protest-related violence since 12 July.

On Friday, the Orange Order said it plans to hold a protest at the point it has been banned from parading past in north Belfast on Saturday.

In a statement the County Grand Master of Belfast George Chittick stated the demonstration “must be peaceful”.

It comes after the Parades Commission refused to allow the Orange Order parade past the Ardoyne shopfronts for a second time.

The Order applied for the parade on Saturday to complete a return parade they were banned from making on the 12 July.

On Saturday, leaflets will be handed out to all supporters of the Orange Lodges and Bands involved making clear the conditions of the protest.

“The only way the Orange family will achieve their objectives; to see the Ligoniel lodges home and the Parades Commission disbanded, is by peaceful means, anyone who is coming to the Parade must be committed to protesting peacefully and dispersing when asked to do so,” Mr Chittick stated.

Orangmen returning to north Belfast on the Twelfth of July

Orangmen returning to north Belfast on the Twelfth of July

“The Parades Commission rewarded violence, we do not want their rewards, we want their removal and the only way that will be achieved is through a broad based peaceful campaign by the Protestant, unionist and loyalist community; united, committed and disciplined.”

The leaflet explains that anyone involved in the protest must stop when directed by marshals, where the national anthem will be played and then the crowd will disperse.

“No matter what the provocation, violence is not the answer,” the leaflet states.

When reviewing the application, the parades watchdog heard from the Crumlin Ardoyne Residents Association, Sinn Féin and the SDLP and received a written representation from loyalist Woodvale residents.

It said it was “disappointed” not to receive representations from the Orange Order or from any unionist parties.

Joe Marley of CARA has said the Orange Order now needs to engage in dialogue.

Sinn Féin’s Gerry Kelly also said the Parades Commission’s decision was “sensible”.

Last year, there was major rioting when a token return parade was allowed to pass the Ardoyne shopfronts.

Order members have continued to hold protests in the area throughout the week.

NI Secretary of State Theresa Villiers warned on Friday that further violence would only damage efforts to attract jobs and investment to the region.

“People who break the law should be in no doubt that there will be arrests and prosecutions. And those who are convicted risk prison,” she said.

“It also has a serious impact on the reputation of Northern Ireland as we try and compete in the global race for investment and jobs.”

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