Page last updated at 08:53 GMT, Friday, 7 August 2009 09:53 UK

Politicians call for calm parade

Apprentice Boys of Derry
The police said trouble at the parade would not be tolerated

Politicians in Londonderry have appealed for calm ahead of Saturday's Apprentice Boys parade in the city.

On Tuesday police said a "small group of people" were intent on causing disruption at the parade.

The Bogside Residents Group has already called on young nationalists not to disrupt the parade.

Twenty people were charged following trouble at the Twelfth parade in Derry. Police say they will take "robust action" against any troublemakers.

DUP MLA and Apprentice Boy William Hay said there were protocols within the organisation to deal with any trouble from band members.

"We are planning that the whole day passes off peacefully, not only for ourselves, but for the business community and wider community," said Mr Hay.

"We will make sure, as far as possible, that nobody steps out of line from amongst our own ranks."

Sinn Fein MLA Raymond McCartney said there had been discussions between the Bogside Residents Group and the Apprentice Boys for a number of years and issues were being resolved.

Officers will respond quickly to incidents that have potential to cause disorder
Ch Insp Jon Burrows
PSNI

"We have listened to the concerns of the residents in the Triangle area, these have been articulated to the Apprentice Boys, they've been articulated to the PSNI and they have given us assurances they are addressing these issues," he said.

"This is a process which will move progressively forward."

SDLP MLA Pat Ramsey said it was "time to let this parade to go ahead".

"It's part of our city, it's part of the culture of our city," he said.

"The plantation, the walled city, the Apprentice Boys are all part of our city.

"We don't want the police to have a strangle hold on the city and losing what should be a normal peaceful shopping day.

"We need active parental response to this, we need parents to know where their sons are."

"Sinister"

Trouble flared on Monday 13 July near the Apprentice Boys Memorial Hall and Fountain area.

Police said dissident republicans had been seen in the area at the time and that there was "some sort of sinister influence in the background".

Both sides spat at each other and threw missiles. Petrol bombs were thrown during some of the disturbances.

The Orange 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 police said they were confident the "necessary measures" have been put in place to combat any trouble on Saturday.

"We are not going to let a small minority bring us back to the past," said Acting Chief Inspector Jon Burrows.

"This will not be tolerated. Officers will respond quickly to incidents that have potential to cause disorder and anyone found behaving inappropriately will be dealt with robustly."

The parade will mark the 320th anniversary of the Siege of Derry.



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