PARADE GOES AHEAD IN NORTH BELFAST AFTER SECURITY ALERT

Apprentice Boys parade goes ahead following security alert in north Belfast

Apprentice Boys parade goes ahead following security alert in north Belfast

AN Apprentice Boys parade went ahead in north Belfast on Easter Monday after a security alert in the area.

Police said a suspicious object sparked the alert on the Crumlin Road on Monday morning.

Army technical officers were tasked to the scene and are examining the item.

Initially police said the device was viable but have now withdrawn that.

The device has been taken away for examination.

The road between the Ballysillan Road and the Ardoyne shop fronts reopened following the security operation and an Apprentice Boys parade went ahead after the delay.

Winston Irvine, from North and West Belfast Parades Forum said the parade was “very dignified”.

He condemned the alert as an “attack on the entire community” and an attempt to “intimidate local people”.

“Thankfully the people held their nerve and the band and the lodge proceeded without any hindrance,” he added.

Wintons Irvine says alert was an "attack on the entire community''

Wintons Irvine says alert was an “attack on the entire community”

Dee Fennel from the Greater Ardoyne Residents Collective (GARC) said they remained opposed to the parade and that the Apprentice Boys had not engaged with them beforehand- but also condemned the alert.

“The people of Mountainview couldn’t get out of their homes, anyone who was trying to get to work was prevented from doing so,” he said.

“We’re consistent in our approach that any opposition to these parades should be peaceful and we would ask anyone to desist from anything that would raise tensions in the area.”

Meanwhile a separate parade past a controversial route in Belfast city centre has taken place without incident.

Up to 60 Apprentice Boys and a band passed St Patrick’s Catholic Church on Donegall Street to a single drumbeat, with no music played.

Scenes of disorder broke out in the area last year after a band was filmed playing an alleged sectarian song while passing the church last July.

Carrick Hill residents protested peacefully on the footpath as the parade passed.

 

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