Orange Order march in Belfast

Some 30,000 unionists have taken part in the Ulster Covenant parade across Belfast to celebrate 100 years of Northern Ireland pledging to remain part of the UK.

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Why is the Ulster Covenant parade route controversial?

The Ulster Covenant for the nationalist community is a reminder of the partition of Ireland. The Ulster Covenant parade passes several Catholic churches and is close to areas were there have been violent protests.

  • St Patrick's Catholic Church, near Carlisle Circus in North Belfast
  • St Matthew's Catholic Church in Short Strand, in East Belfast

During the 12th July parade, an Orange Order band were filmed outside St Patrick's playing a sectarian tune mocking those that died during the Irish Famine. As a result they were banned from playing music during a subsequent parade in August.

The Orange Order ignored the ban and played anyway, sparking riots that left 67 police officers injured. 150 residents will be protesting outside St Patrick's Church today.

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