Page last updated at 17:49 GMT, Saturday, 27 June 2009 18:49 UK

Hoax devices disrupt Orange march

The Whiterock parade was held up for about an hour during the alert
The Whiterock parade was held up for about an hour during the alert

An Orange Order parade in west Belfast was held up for about an hour following the discovery of suspicious devices.

They were left on the Springfield and West Circular roads, near the route of the Whiterock parade, but later declared "elaborate hoaxes".

Fifty Orangemen were allowed through the Workman Avenue gate and onto the mainly nationalist Springfield Road.

A number of plastic bottles and other missiles were thrown at the Orangemen. No-one was injured.

The suspicious objects were found by Army technical officers, one in a bin, one at a bus shelter.

After the missiles were thrown, Orange Order leaders encouraged their members to ignore the missiles and continue walking.

The rest of the march was peaceful.

Nigel Dodds of the DUP said the marchers had been attacked without provocation.

"The bomb hoaxes and devices that were left here is clearly an attack on Orange culture. It is absolutely disgraceful," he said.

"Once again we have seen the true face of republicanism on show here in west Belfast."

Sinn Fein MLA Fra McCann said the residents had wanted a peaceful protest.

"The longer the thing went on the more, the more possibilities there was of some type of trouble breaking out, but again only because of the good work of local residents and local stewarts that they were able to keep that at bay," he said.

"Bottles and stones don't serve any purpose at all. There were children at 11 and 12 years of age were doing that."

There has been considerable trouble at the parade in previous years, but last year's march passed off peacefully.

On Thursday, DUP North MP Nigel Dodds urged calm and restraint to again be shown at this year's parade.

He was speaking after a delegation of senior DUP figures met the police to discuss the parade.

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