More than 50 protests are organised across Province

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Last night details remained sketchy about the number and location of Orange Order protest parades tonight.

On Thursday, the Institution revealed the plan for evening protest parades on the Twelfth as part of the ‘graduated response’ to the Parades Commission ruling in Ardoyne

At tea time yesterday the Parades Commission said that it had received more than 509 applications for protest parades and more were expected to be submitted last night.

The Orange Order asked its members not to organise the protest parades in contentious areas, meaning that each of the applications submitted by tea time yesterday had been approved by the commission.

The protests are planned for cities, towns and villages right across Northern Ireland.

In some cases, lodges are planning to extend their traditional evening parade around their locality. In other cases, where lodges do not generally parade in the evening after returning from the demonstration, some lodges will go to the nearest town for a combined protest parade, something which is expected to happen in Dromore, Co Down.

Due to the late organisation of the protest parades, Orange headquarters does not have a list of all the protest parades which are being organised but news is in many cases being spread by word of mouth.

A second form of protest will involve a six-minute stoppage at this morning’s Twelfth parades during which a statement will be read from the head of each parade.

The gesture is an attempt by the Orange Order to highlight the length of time which it takes for the Ligoniel lodges to pass the section of the Crumlin Road at Ardoyne where nationalists have objected to them marching.

The head of the Belfast parade will stop when it reaches the House of Sport on the Malone Road.

In some cases, it is understood that senior unionist politicians will join the head of the parade as the protest statement is read out.

l Heavy showers are forecast to reach all parts of Northern Ireland at some point today.

Rain will sweep across the Province from the west, providing a wet start to many of the day’s parades.

The rain is expected to be heaviest across Belfast and the east of Northern Ireland around lunch time but by tonight the rain should have gone.

Temperatures of about 18 degrees are forecast.