TENSIONS ARE RISING over the annual Twelfth of July parades in the North, as Protestant areas prepare to light huge bonfires tonight.
A parade through the Ardoyne area – which has sparked serious riots in the past – is again the subject of dispute. A ruling by the Parades Commission that marchers should clear the area by 4pm is being challenged in the courts, the BBC reports.
The Orange Order has said the ruling is “a recipe for disaster”. In previous years, the marchers have returned through the area in the evening.
Loyalist group the North and West Belfast Parades and Cultural Forum has also attacked the decision, the Belfast Telegraph reports. It called a protest march by Ardoyne residents which has been permitted to occur that evening “a violent republican parade”/
Bonfires around the region – many towering stacks of pallets and tyres – will be set alight tonight to commemorate the 1690 Battle of the Boyne, in which the Protestant King William III defeated the Catholic King James II.
The Twelfth of July is a traditional flashpoint for the North, with Orange Order parades often marching through Catholic neighbourhoods.