THE PSNI IS estimating some 550 parades across Northern Ireland as the province readies for the annual 12th July marches.
Police are describing 43 of the parades as “sensitive” with the Parades Commission banning the planned march through the Ardoyne area of North Belfast after it was the site of serious rioting in recent years.
The commission said that the decision was taken after talks between residents’ group CARA and and the Orange Order were unable to produce an agreement.
The decision of the Parades Commission was described as “sensible” by local Sinn Féin MLA Gerry Kelly who said, “A peaceful 12th will give those talks a good foundation in which a local resolution can be found to this parading issue.”
DUP leader and Northern Ireland First Minister Peter Robinson called the decision “deeply flawed” and ”a reward for violence and intolerance in light of events in the area last year”.
To cope with the scale of this years marches, the PSNI have called up additional resources from elsewhere in the UK who trained with the force for the recent G8 summit. The ‘Mutual Aid’ officers will be deployed in less sensitive areas and will be comprised of 30 units and around 630 officers.