Northern Ireland

The Twelfth: Short Stand-off at Ardoyne shops ends

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Media captionThe stand-off, which lasted about two hours, began shortly after an Orange Order parade in the area dispersed without incident

A stand-off between loyalists and republicans in north Belfast has ended.

A crowd of about 200 gathered at the Ardoyne shops after a return Orange Order feeder parade passed off without serious incident.

Image caption Only a small number of members of Ballysillan lodge arrived at the barrier and they were not accompanied by any supporters

Three north Belfast lodges were due to complete the return leg, but only one turned up at the police barrier on the Woodvale Road.

Image caption Police begin dismantling the barrier on the Woodvale Road after the return feeder parade passed on Tuesday evening

The Orange Order said the other two lodges dispersed before the barrier.

Image caption Nationalist residents' groups held protests against the parade on both sides of the road in Ardoyne

The order said this was because they were outside the 20:30 BST deadline which had been set by the Parades Commission.

Fr Gary Donegan, a prominent Catholic priest from the Holy Cross church in Ardoyne, said he was generally happy with the outcome.

"If you had said to me a few years ago we would have had a situation like this tonight with no recreational rioting, with no serious rioting, I would have grabbed this with both hands," he added.

He said the police would need to consider their tactics over the Ardoyne stand-off.

Two nationalist residents' groups held separate protests against a feeder parade past the Ardoyne shops on Tuesday morning.

Image copyright Pacemaker
Image caption Police in riot gear escorted an Orange Order feeder parade past nationalist protesters in Ardoyne on Tuesday morning

The stretch of Crumlin Road has been the scene of violence in recent years.

The feeder parade and the protests passed off without trouble on Tuesday morning.

However, protesters at the Ardoyne shops heckled PSNI Chief Constable George Hamilton, shouting that he was not welcome in the area

This year, as has been the case since 2013, the feeder parade was not allowed to return by the same route on Tuesday evening.

It was hoped a solution had been brokered to the long-running dispute last month, but the deal fell apart at the last minute.

Thousands of Orange Order members took part in Twelfth of July parades across Northern Ireland.

Image caption About 60 bands took part in the Belfast parade

The 12th of July parades mark the 326th anniversary of King William III's victory at the Battle of the Boyne in 1690.

Image caption The village of Maguiresbridge hosted Fermanagh's main county demonstration for the first time in a decade

A total of 18 demonstrations were held in towns and cities across Northern Ireland.

Northern Ireland's first and deputy minister and justice minister had appealed for calm ahead of the parades.

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