FORENSIC TESTS ON EASTER MONDAY SECURITY ALERT DEVICE

Apprentice Boys parade went ahead following security alert in north Belfast

Apprentice Boys parade went ahead following security alert in north Belfast

THE PSNI said on Tuesday that forensic tests are being carried out on the suspect device found in north Belfast ahead of an Apprentice Boys of Derry parade.

A suspect device was found on Easter Monday on the Crumlin Road.

Police initially said the device was “viable” but later withdrew that statement,

Now the PSNI have said that forensic tests are being carried out to establish if the device was viable or not.

“Further forensic examinations are being carried out on the material found within the device that was discovered in the Crumlin Road area yesterday morning,” a police spokeswoman confirmed.

“We await results of these tests before we can confirm if the device was viable or not.”

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

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

Winston Irvine, from the 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”.

Winston Irvine said the security alert was an "attack on the entire community''

Winston Irvine said the security alert was an “attack on the entire community”

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

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 took 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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