Page last updated at 15:04 GMT, Tuesday, 21 July 2009 16:04 UK

Apprentice Boys call for screens

Londonderry twelfth parade
Trouble flared during the return leg of the Twelfth in Londonderry

The governor of the Apprentice Boys has said clear screens should be used during the annual parade in Londonderry if rival crowds gather along the route.

A march is planned in the city centre on 8 August.

The call comes after the Orange Order criticised police over their handling of the recent Twelfth parade in Derry.

The Order's Chief Marshal, David Ramsey, said his marshals were put at risk as rival spectators were not kept far enough away from each other.

"The situation is dictated by activity on the ground on the day. Obviously with a parade of more than two hours long they may be deemed necessary.

"The safety of the marshals is the primary concern," said Jim Brownlee of the Apprentice Boys.

PSNI area commander Chief Inspector, Chris Yates, said the behaviour of a small number of band members and those opposed to the parade should not "detract from the good work that has gone on to normalise these events".

"With regard to the upcoming Apprentice Boy's parade, police will continue to work with everyone involved to ensure events pass off peacefully," he added.

"Where there is potential for disorder or evidence of any wrongdoing my officers will not hesitate to deal with the situation in an appropriate manner."

Mr Ramsey said the parade without spittle barriers would be "too dangerous" for marshals.

"The police have mentioned they may not be using the barriers for the August parade which takes three hours to pass," he said.

"Our marshals will have to stand there for three hours trying to prevent any reaction from band men or lodge members being spat on."



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