Participants praised as Whiterock march passes off peacefully

The annual Whiterock Orange Order parade in Belfast makes its way through the old Mackie's factory and onto the Springfield Road in west Belfast.  Picture by Jonathan Porter/PressEye
The annual Whiterock Orange Order parade in Belfast makes its way through the old Mackie's factory and onto the Springfield Road in west Belfast. Picture by Jonathan Porter/PressEye

Police have praised those who took part in Saturday’s Whiterock parade in Belfast after the rerouted march passed off peacefully.

Orange lodges were prevented from passing through the peace line at Workman Avenue following a ruling from the Parades Commission.

Taking shelter from the sun during the annual Whiterock Orange Order parade in Belfast

Taking shelter from the sun during the annual Whiterock Orange Order parade in Belfast

PSNI Superintendent Norman Haslett said: “The aim of the police operation was to ensure the safety of everyone involved. We had a proportionate operation in place which was designed to keep everyone safe and I am very pleased with how the events have passed.

“I was encouraged by the manner in which all participants conducted themselves and appreciate the efforts those involved went to in ensuring this was the case. The efforts made by community representatives and event organisers showed a real willingness to ensure the event passed off peacefully. I hope that this will create a positive platform for dealing with sensitive parades throughout the coming months.”

Meanwhile annual Battle of Somme Anniversary parade takes place in east Belfast on Monday evening,

Many of those watching, like those on parade, will have had relatives who took part in the battle. The parade honours all who fought from Ireland and around the then Empire, however, the 36th Ulster Division will have a special place in the thoughts of all.

Ballymacarrett District Master, Brother Raymond Spiers said: “The Battle of the Somme parade is the largest annual event in east Belfast, when thousands honour those who fought and died.”

He added: “It is always a very special night”.

The focus of the short service and Act of Remembrance at Strandtown War Memorial will be on the Armistice in this centenary year.”