Northern Ireland

Crumlin Road: Barred north Belfast parade different from last year

On the road where exactly 12 months ago there had been armoured vehicles, water cannon and riot police, there stood nine officers in high-visibility jackets.

Security barriers had been erected but they were little more than waist-high.

And at the point where loyalist protesters had attacked the police, Orange Order marshals stood to mark a line that bands and their supporters would not cross.

Below banners music played and people cheered and sang but the mood was relaxed - particularly when you compared it to the tension of last year.

Three women made their way through the crowd carrying a large sign saying 'let them home' but there was no attempt to physically challenge the ruling that prevented Orangemen from walking along a short section of the Crumlin Road.

However the speeches made metres below the barriers on the Woodvale Road made very clear that the campaign to complete this parade is not at an end.

What can't be denied is that whatever negotiations took place ahead of the march helped to ensure that trouble was avoided during it.

Politicians and the police will be united in their relief that it was only words not actions that were angry on this Twelfth.