DPP members call for PSNI vigilance at Ormeau parade

A South Belfast councillor has called on the PSNI to ensure there are no loyalist paramilitary trappings on display at an Orange Order march due to take place on the Ormeau Road tonight (Friday).

SDLP councillor Peter O’Reilly made the call as around 1,000 Orangemen and eight loyalist bands prepare to parade the Upper Ormeau Road and Rosetta, taking in the 21 streets surrounding Ballynafeigh Orange Lodge.

Nationalist residents have expressed concern at the size and nature of the mini-Twelfth parade. However, the Parades Commission has failed to put any restrictions on what is expected to be one of the biggest loyalist marches on the Ormeau Road in recent years.

Local SDLP councillor and District Policing Partnership member Peter O’Reilly said he was dismayed at the mass concentration of loyalist marches in Ballynafeigh.

“I am astonished at the intensity of these parades on the Ormeau Road,” said Cllr O’Reilly.

“They take many shapes and sizes but all of them remain disruptive and to many nationalists intimidatory.

“The PSNI have a duty to ensure there are absolutely no paramilitary trappings associated with any of the loyalist bands marching with Orangemen on Friday night.”

Orange Order Grand Master Dawson Bailey dismissed claims that the Orangemen and loyalist bands marching past Catholic Ballynafeigh and Rosetta homes would be intimidatory.

“People will be out celebrating their culture, history and heritage,” he said.
“I’m asking the local community to be tolerant, we don’t want any trouble or disruption. All we want to do is enjoy our mini-Twelfth.”

Journalist:: Staff Reporter

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