Dissident republicans have paraded by way of Belfast to Metropolis Corridor for the primary time for his or her annual anti-internment parade.
A significant police operation was put into operation at Saturday’s march and a loyalist counter-demonstrations was held.
It was the primary time within the parade’s four-year historical past it was allowed to march all the way in which to Metropolis Corridor. Organisers restricted the route as a way to persuade the Parades Fee to permit it to happen. Restrictions, nevertheless, had been positioned on the numbers attending.
Organiser Dee Fennell mentioned it was proper the parade handed by way of town.
“We’ve got determined to make use of this route this 12 months. It’s a route utilized by many campaigns, such because the LGBTQ marketing campaign, Might Day rallies, peace rallies and quite a few others so we needed to utilise this route the identical manner different campaigns do.”
The primary speaker on the occasion was Mandy Duffy, the vice-chairperson of dissident republican celebration Saoradh, and sister-in-law of main Lurgan republican Colin Duffy, who additionally attended the parade.
The parade organisers pledged their march can be peaceable as unionists expressed fears of significant disturbances on the streets.
As much as 1,000 republicans and 4 flute bands had been to participate, organisers mentioned previous to the occasion.
Republicans gathered at Writers’ Sq. beside St Anne’s Cathedral at lunchtime and marched up Royal Avenue and into Donegall Place to Metropolis Corridor, the place audio system addressed the rally.
The group was because of disperse at 2pm however the organisers yesterday notified the Parades Fee of their intention to carry a return parade by way of town centre which is able to end in Citadel Road.
In 2015, there have been clashes between the PSNI and republicans after police stopped the anti-internment march from coming into town centre.
The earlier 12 months the parade went forward amid a large police operation which noticed streets blocked off hours prematurely.
In 2013, 56 PSNI officers had been injured after loyalist protesters attacked the police throughout a parade.
Belfast Telegraph Digital