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Last Updated: Friday, 16 June 2006, 21:50 GMT 22:50 UK
Minor disturbance at Orange march
The Tour of the North parade has sparked trouble in the past
The Tour of the North parade has sparked trouble in the past
There has been a minor disturbance at the Tour of the North Orange Order parade in Belfast, which has largely passed off peacefully.

As it was passing the Ardoyne shops, golf balls and stones were thrown by nationalist protestors.

The chairman of the Parades Commission, Roger Poole, was present at the Ardoyne shops. He said recent dialogue had helped avoid major trouble.

An agreement had earlier been reached over the disputed parade.

The Tour of the North parade has sparked trouble in the past.

However, the North and West Belfast Parades Forum and the Ardoyne Parades Dialogue Group reached an accommodation over it.

The marchers agreed to limitations on a contentious part of the return leg of the parade while residents would stage a smaller protest.

It was agreed that the return parade would proceed down the same route as normal, but would consist of only one band, a single banner and representatives only of the constituent lodges.

Music would not be played along the contentious part, according to the accommodation reached.

A nationalist protester was hit by a missile from a crowd behind her
A nationalist protester was hit by a missile from a crowd behind her

Mr Poole had come to observe the deal in action and for a time it seemed to be going perfectly to plan.

However, as the reduced parade reached the token protest, some golf balls and stones were thrown by a larger crowd being kept back by stewards.

One woman, who had been part of the nationalist protest, was hit by a missile thrown by the crowd behind her.

The disturbance was short and in contrast to previous years, relatively minor - something Mr Poole was keen to stress.

Sinn Fein's Gerry Kelly conceded that nationalists had thrown stones, bottles and golf balls, but said the trouble should not be overstated, and he hoped more dialogue would follow.

The Reverend Norman Hamilton, a Protestant clergyman who has worked hard to improve relations in the district, said while the stone throwing had been regrettable, he hoped the talking would continue.




SEE ALSO
Agreement over contentious march
14 Jun 06 |  Northern Ireland
Policing parade trouble cost 3m
31 Oct 05 |  Northern Ireland
Orange parade to pass flashpoint
04 Jul 05 |  Northern Ireland
Parade clash 'wake-up call', Orde
19 Jun 05 |  Northern Ireland

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