PSNI RIOT ARRESTS RISE TO 74 AHEAD OF LATEST ORANGE PARADE

Water cannon used in Ardoyne the evening of Friday, July 12

Water cannon used in Ardoyne the evening of Friday, July 12

DETECTIVES investigating recent rioting linked to the fallout of a banned parade has now topped 74 in less than a week.

The arrests come 24 hours before Orangemen, bandsmen and supporters walk from the Shankill Road in west Belfast to the Woodvale Road in north Belfast.

However, their passage up the Crumlin Road will again be blocked by PSNI land rovers and riot squad officers after the Parades Commission ruled on Thursday it still could not walk past the Ardoyne shop fronts.

Police have revealed that five more people were detained on Friday morning during a series of planned swoops.

Two men aged 49 and 19 were arrested on suspicion of riotous behaviour in the Portadown area of Co Armagh at around 12.30am.

Then, just before 7am, a 23-year-old man was detained in the Hillsborough area of Co Down on suspicion of rioting.

A short time later police arrested two men on suspicion of riotous behaviour in north Belfast.

They were a 15-year-old and a 21-year-old.

Police added that on July 17 a 13-year-old boy was arrested over suspected rioting.

A statement said: “He was released into the care of his family pending further enquiries by a PSNI Youth Diversion Officer.”

In total, 71 police officers – 68 from the PSNI and three ‘mutual aid officers’ drafted in from Great Britain – were injured during six consecutive nights of trouble since last Friday.

A UK female police officer sustained a broken leg.

Police had blocked Orangemen from marching past the nationalist Ardoyne district in north Belfast on the Twelfth of July, in accordance with a Parades Commission ruling.

At least 128 petrol bombs, blast bombs and other missiles have been through during serious disorder across the city and in Portadown and Newtownabbey.

Police have fired 51 baton rounds to try and deal with the rioters.

THE Parades Commission refused the Orange Order permission for a parade in north Belfast on Saturday past the flashpoint Ardoyne shop fronts.

The ruling was announced shortly before 3 pm on Thursday afternoon.

The Orange Order says the Parades Commission must “bear full responsibility” for the anger in recent days over its Ardoyne decision on July 12.

In a statement, a spokesman for Grand Lodge said: “This decision by the Parades Commission to prevent this dignified parade is a further indictment of this already discredited body.

“Amid the obvious anger which has manifested itself over recent days, to which the commission must bear full responsibility, Grand Lodge would once again appeal for calm.

“People are entitled to express their views through peaceful protest in a democratic society – however, those intent on causing trouble should stay away from Saturday’s parade.

“Violence is counterproductive and serves no purpose, only damaging the cause of Orangeism.”

The determination is expected to cause widespread anger among the Orange Order and among loyalists in north and west Belfast.

SF MLA Gerry Kelly welcomed the ruling, saying the Orange Order in Belfast need to “step out of the bubble they are living in”.

The Commission has laid down a number of restrictions on the LOL No2 district parade.

The parade must not pass the junction of Woodvale Parade and Woodvale Road; and Hesketh Road and Crumlin Road.

Other restrictions include:

* disperse by 4.30 pm;

* three bands only;

* no undue stoppages or delay;

* no singing;

* no chanting;

* no loud drumming;

* no paramilitary clothing or flags.

On Wednesday, the Orange Order applied for permission for a new march.

It wanted members of LOL NO 2 district to return home by its normal route which was banned on July 12 by the Commission.

It requests permission for 500 participants, including one band, to make their way along Brookemount Street, Shankill Road, Woodvale Road and Crumlin Road to Ligoniel Orange Hall.

The parade plan was to pass the Ardoyne shops on the Crumlin Road, the same area they were banned from on the evening of July 12.

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