09 September 2005

PSNI appeals for calm at contentious Belfast march


09/09/2005 - 13:39:53

The PSNI has appealed for calm at a contentious Orange Order parade in Belfast tomorrow.

The march was originally due to go ahead in June, but was postponed when the Parades Commission banned it from the nationalist Springfield Road.

Orangmen are now planning to hold the march tomorrow, but the commission has insisted that the restrictions imposed in June must still be honoured.

Unionists and loyalists have reacted angrily to the decision and there are growing fears that paramilitaries will use the occasion to engage in street violence.

PSNI assistant chief constable Duncan McCausland said today that the police would be enforcing the commission's ruling, rejecting claims by DUP leader Ian Paisley that his officers would not be able to handle the situation.

Mr McCausland urged loyalist paramilitaries to stay away from the march and called on unionist political, community and church leaders to use their influence to prevent violence.

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