GALLERY: SCONTRI AD ARDOYNE. FERITO NIGEL DODDS

Nigel Dodds knocked unconscious in north Belfast trouble (BBC News Northern Ireland)

North Belfast MP Nigel Dodds has been injured in violence that followed an Orange Order parade.

Police say Mr Dodds was knocked unconscious and taken away in an ambulance.

Earlier he had appealed for calm after trouble broke out when an Orange parade was stopped on the Woodvale Road.

Police were enforcing a Parades Commission ban. Four police officers and one civilian have been hurt.

Water cannon and baton rounds were used after a sustained attack on police.

The Parades Commission ruling stopped Orange Order lodges from walking on a stretch of road in north Belfast that separates loyalist and nationalist communities.

Trouble has also broken out on the Newtownards Road in east Belfast.

Bricks and bottles have been thrown in both areas. The water cannon and baton rounds were used on the Woodvale Road.

In east Belfast, missiles were thrown as a parade passed St Matthew’s Catholic church on the Newtownards Road.

Orange Order lodges in north Belfast, marched past the Ardoyne shops, on Friday morning.

However, the Parades Commission, which rules on contentious parades, banned them from returning by the same route in the evening.

The ruling was that on their return, lodges would be stopped at the junction of Woodvale Road and Woodvale Parade.

They have been prohibited from walking between that point and the junction of the Crumlin Road and Hesketh Road.

The Parades Commission ruled that marchers would not be allowed to return along the part of the Crumlin Road, at Ardoyne shops, that separates nationalist and loyalist communities.

In recent years, there has been serious rioting in the nationalist Ardoyne area following the return leg of the parade.

The morning parade was blocked temporarily by police just before it reached the Ardoyne shops.

Protests
This was because there were many more supporters accompanying the bands than had been allowed by the Parades Commission ruling, that limited followers of the lodges and band to 100.

After hundreds of supporters withdrew, police allowed the marchers to proceed and the parade passed the Ardoyne shops without incident, shortly after 09:00 BST.

Nationalist residents from the Greater Ardoyne Residents’ Collective (GARC) held a small protest in the area, amid a heavy police presence.

GARC was one of two residents’ groups from Ardoyne that had planned larger protests against the parade, which is described as a ‘feeder’ march for the Ligoniel lodges taking part in the main Belfast demonstration.

However, after the Parades Commission ruling on Wednesday evening, both GARC and Crumlin and Ardoyne Residents’ Association (CARA) called off their larger demonstrations.

The marching season is a period of events from April to August, with the highpoint on 12 July when Orangemen march to commemorate William of Orange’s victory over the Catholic King James II at the Battle of the Boyne in Ireland in 1690.

William III is revered by the order as a champion of his faith. The Orange Order commemorate his victory in their annual parades.

Many Catholics see the marches as triumphalist and sectarian with some traditional Orange routes passing through or past areas occupied mainly by Catholics and nationalists.

The Parades Commission ruling on the north Belfast parade was welcomed by nationalist politicians but angered unionists.

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