Police station petrol bombed

Petrol bombs have been thrown at Lurgan police station after a Black Preceptory parade returned to the County Armagh town.

The police station in the town was attacked by youths at about 2100 BST on Tuesday.

Petrol bombs, bricks and bottles were thrown at the building.

Earlier, a parade by members of the Royal Black Institution returned to Lurgan from a demonstation in Bangor.

The Black Preceptory is one of the Protestant loyal orders which traditionally march in Northern Ireland during the summer months.

Both the SDLP and Sinn Fein claim the parade was in breach of a Parades Commission ruling.

"They deliberately flouted (the determination) by marching through the whole of the town centre and playing sectarian tunes - their behaviour was provocative, inflammatory and intimidatory."
--Dolores Kelly

Police said they were forced to change the route after the driver of a lorry refused to move it from an area cordoned-off for marchers.

They said the driver may now be prosecuted.

On Wednesday, Sinn Fein assembly member John O'Dowd said: "The PSNI are stating that they overruled the Parades Commission last night because of a parked car.

"The car was parked in Market Street. The Parades Commission's ruling clearly stated that the parade should not enter Market Street - so what effect the parked car in Market Street would have on any parade is beyond me."

Dolores Kelly of the SDLP said the centre of Lurgan "was taken over last night by supporters - including the local leadership of the LVF".

She had earlier called for the Royal Black Preceptory to be banned from marching in Lurgan again.

She said: "They deliberately flouted (the determination) by marching through the whole of the town centre and playing sectarian tunes. Their behaviour was provocative, inflammatory and intimidatory."

However, Jonathan Bell of the Black Institution said: "What occurred last night was a matter of feet - where the Parades Commission's determination was clearly upheld.

Petrol bombs were also thrown at soldiers in the Brownlow Terrace area, close to Lurgan railway station on Tuesday evening.

A car was hijacked by two men wearing masks in Albert Street at about 1815 BST on Tuesday. One of them had a gun.

It was later set on fire at the railway crossing at Bells Row.

Rail services between Portadown and Lurgan were suspended, although most of the Black Institution members returned to Lurgan by bus under police escort on Tuesday evening.

On Tuesday morning, a small group of nationalist youths attacked a train carrying Royal Black members on their way to another demonstration in Bangor, County Down.

The Royal Black parade in Lurgan, which had restrictions placed on it by the Parades Commission, had passed off peacefully in the morning.

The marchers had wanted to parade to the town's railway station before travelling on, but were prevented from doing so by the commission's ruling.

Police said as their train later passed the Kilwilkee estate, a small group of youths threw seven petrol bombs, paint and stones.

There were no reports of injuries, but windows were damaged.

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