BELFAST, Northern Ireland – Belfast is bracing for possible riots next week after a Protestant parade was barred from passing a hostile Catholic district.
The government-appointed Parades Commission ruled Thursday that the Orange Order brotherhood must not march July 12 on a main road passing Ardoyne, a traditional IRA power base, because of the risk of violence.
From 2009 to 2012, Ardoyne Catholics rioted after the parade passed. Last year, Protestants rioted when the commission ordered police to block the parade before it reached Ardoyne. Hundreds of police have been injured while keeping the two sides apart.
Five Protestant parties ended wider negotiations with Catholic leaders in protest at Thursday's decision. In a joint statement they accused commissioners of caving in to Ardoyne militants and appealed to their own supporters to remain peaceful.