Orangemen face prosecution over parade
19/02/2005 - 14:50:35

Belfast Orangemen face prosecution after taking part in a parade today which had not been sanctioned by the Parades Commission.

Members of a single Orange lodge marched from Belfast into the city centre to commemorate two Ulster Defence Regiment soldiers who were murdered in the city in the 1980s.

The parade passed off peacefully with a protest mounted by less than a dozen nationalists as it passed the end of the Short Strand on its way into the city centre.

The parade had not been sanctioned because of a row over the application form which the Parades Commission said had been “incomplete and therefore unacceptable”.

Despite the failure to get clearance to march, the members of the Orange Lodge - Ulster Defenders of the Realm LOL 710 – said they were going ahead with their annual commemoration.

The Police Service said in the absence of a ruling from the Parades Commission giving the go-ahead those taking part were acting illegally and were given two warnings.

“Evidence was gathered and the matter will be forwarded to the DPP,” said a police spokesman.

The parade commemorates two UDR soldiers who were killed in Belfast’s Royal Avenue in a bomb blast in February 1988 during the construction of the Castlecourt shopping centre.

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