Parade change prompts attacks on police

Even before East Belfast erupted in rioting, the summer marching season began to show signs of strain when stones and bottles were thrown at police in Belfast, this after an Orange Order parade was rerouted.

Several PSNI officers were hurt during the city's "Tour of the North" parade last Friday. The parade takes in several areas of North Belfast but restrictions were placed on it this year to prevent it from entering a Catholic district.

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A police spokesperson said their priority was to protect communities whilst upholding the ruling of the Parades Commission.

In its determination, the commission said it had to weigh the impact on "fragile community relations, the impact on business and private life, the traditional nature of the parade and the potential for public disorder" in deciding to reroute the march.

DUP MLA for North Belfast, Nelson McCausland, said the decision to restrict the parade was wrong.

"There were negotiations over the past number of months between loyalists and republicans about the situation after the Tour of the North," he said

"But unfortunately there was no accommodation and the Parades Commission disempowered people in the unionist community and rewarded republican violence last year by determining that the parade would not be allowed to return up the road."

Joe Marley from the Crumlin Ardoyne Residents Group said the Parades Commission should not be intimidated by the trouble. He said talks on marches in the area should resume.

There are a number of contentious parades in the area over the course of the marching season.