[an error occurred while processing this directive]
BBC News
watch One-Minute World News
Last Updated: Tuesday, 12 July, 2005, 16:07 GMT 17:07 UK
Village standoff ends after talks
Police moving protesters
About 30 protesters were moved off the road by police
A day-long standoff between nationalist residents and Orangemen in Dunloy in County Antrim has ended.

The demonstration by residents ended after talks between the police and Sinn Fein MP Martin McGuinness.

The standoff began when Orangemen were prevented from driving from their hall to a church in the village for a wreath laying ceremony.

One-by-one police removed about 30 nationalist protesters who were staging a sit-down protest in the village.

Sinn Fein MP Martin McGuinness urged a crowd of about 100 protesters to be "cool, calm and collected" shortly after arriving in the village at about 1530 BST on Tuesday.

Shortly afterwards a trailer which was blocking the road was driven off.

Police then removed a crowd of about 30 sit-down protesters from the road to the sound of slow handclapping from residents.

Sinn Fein Assembly member Phillip McGuigan was one of the protesters moved by police.

The Orangemen then drove in a convoy to the church where, six hours behind schedule, they laid a wreath and sang a hymn.

The residents claimed the Orangemen planned to break a Parades Commission ruling by gathering outside the village's Presbyterian church.

However, the Orangemen said they were abiding by the law and just wanted to lay a wreath.

Police said the residents had staged an "illegal protest" and that Orangemen had complied with a Parades Commission determination.

Ballymoney police commander Superintendent Alistair Robinson said a full investigation would be carried out into the protest.

The commission's determination had limited the Dunloy lodge to marching in the area immediately outside its hall.

Riot police in Dunloy
Police in riot gear took up positions in Dunloy

The lodge members wanted to travel by car to the church but protesters used vehicles to block the road.

Earlier in north Belfast, police praised all sides after an Orange Order parade passed a flashpoint without incident following a peaceful protest.

'Illegal protest'

Nationalists staging a sit-down protest on the Crumlin Road were removed by police before the parade passed housing and shops at Ardoyne.

Police said they dealt with an "illegal protest" by about 60 people.

However, they are concerned about this evening's return march through the area as there was serious trouble last year.

The police and Army have described their security operation in Ardoyne as significant, but said they would adapt their plans depending on what happens.

Speaking after the protest, Superintendent Gary White said his officers had acted in a disciplined and restrained manner.

"I also think people within the crowd were exercising a fair amount of restraint and discipline," Mr White said.

"The parade has now gone through, no-one has been hurt, there has been no disorder and I think people on all sides of the community should be congratulated."

Scene in Ardoyne
Police removed protesters from the road in north Belfast
The Ardoyne protest was attended by Sinn Fein leader Gerry Adams and his party colleagues Gerry Kelly and Bairbre de Brun, as well as SDLP members including Alex and Tim Attwood.

Also there was a priest from the area, Father Aidan Troy.

He said, while the situation was tense, there had been no violence.

He said police had removed protesters on the road one-by-one but had not been making arrests.

The SDLP praised "the responsible behaviour of both police and protesters at Ardoyne".

Meanwhile, a parade through a contentious route in west Belfast has also passed off peacefully.

More than 50 nationalists held a silent roadside protest on the Springfield Road as an Orange march turned into Workman Avenue.

Two bands accompanying lodges were not allowed to play music as part of a Parades Commission ruling.

The commission banned the parade from returning along the same route in the evening.

Police praise after parade passes
12 Jul 05 |  Northern Ireland
In pictures: The Twelfth
12 Jul 05 |  In Pictures
Drumcree parade passes peacefully
10 Jul 05 |  Northern Ireland
Adams' pledge on protest marshals
06 Jul 05 |  Northern Ireland

The BBC is not responsible for the content of external internet sites


News Front Page | Africa | Americas | Asia-Pacific | Europe | Middle East | South Asia
UK | Business | Entertainment | Science/Nature | Technology | Health
Have Your Say | In Pictures | Week at a Glance | Country Profiles | In Depth | Programmes
Americas Africa Europe Middle East South Asia Asia Pacific