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In pictures: Peaceful Whiterock parade ‘should be model for others’

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A potentially contentious parade which passed off peacefully in Belfast on Saturday should be used as a model for the rest of the marching season, a PUP spokesman has said.

Around 150 nationalist protestors stood along the Springfield Road as officers from No 9 district marched through Workman Avenue onto the road from the Shankill.

Ten unionist protestors had been permitted by the Parades Commission to stand on the road as part of a counter-protest to demonstrate their claim that loyalists are not welcome on the Springfield Road.

While there were fears violence could erupt, the parade and both protests passed peacefully and PUP spokesman Winston Irvine said all involved should be commended for their dignified behaviour.

He acknowledged the amount of work which had gone into preparing for the day, and praised those who helped to keep the peace in the area.

“There was a lot of hard work had gone on behind the scenes to make sure the event passed off peacefully,” said Mr Irvine.

“The Orange Order and bands should be commended for the way they conducted themselves. And I have to say that the nationalist protest was also respectful.

“And after today I would ask why can this particular model not be replicated elsewhere?”

Mr Irvine referred specifically to the parade in Ardoyne where trouble has flared in recent years.

“If republicans can show respect in this instance with a peaceful and dignified protest, we see no reason why this cannot happen at the Ardoyne shop fronts.”

 

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