SCONTRI AD ARDOYNE, FERITA GRAVEMENTE UNA SEDICENNE
A teenage girl is understood to have been seriously injured after being struck by a car which ended up overturned in the Ardoyne area of north Belfast amid a protest against a Twelfth of July parade.
The 16-year-old pedestrian had to be treated at the scene, in an area packed with people and police in riot gear.
Officers administered first aid until an ambulance arrived, but the extent of the girl’s injuries is not yet known.
The male driver of the car has been arrested.
Having appealed for calm and space for the medics to treat the young victim, PSNI Assistant Chief Constable Stephen added: “An investigation into the circumstances is now underway.”
Meanwhile, trouble has flared in the nearby Woodvale area after a number of loyalists broke through police lines to jump on the bonnets of armoured PSNI Land Rovers.
Steel barricades had been erected to mark the interface point beyond which the parade is not be allowed to pass on Monday evening, after restrictions were imposed by the Parades Commission.
However, the barriers and the bolts holding them together have ended up being used as missiles themselves, while bricks and bottles are also being thrown.
Water cannon have moved into the area as the situation intensifies.
An outward morning parade by the Orange Order had passed off without major incident along the contentious stretch of the Crumlin Road, past protests by nationalist residents.
One man was charged with assault on police and disorderly behaviour and later appeared at Belfast Magistrates’ Court.
However, community representatives had said that tensions were high ahead of the restricted return leg and, stating that violence was “not inevitable”, police and politicians appealed for calm.
Grand Master of the Orange Order Edward Stevenson said: “I would once again stress that our actions today as an institution and as a community must be entirely peaceful.
“Any form of violence only undermines, rather than strengthens, our cause.”
Police Chief Constable George Hamilton said: “Violence is not inevitable, we want people to be able to parade and mark their protest activities in a way that is both peaceful and lawful.
“If they do that then everyone can make their point and everyone can go home safely.”
The PUP’s Billy Hutchinson said: “In relation to the parade determination, I have to say people are angry.
“It seems to me that every time republicans threaten violence the Parades Commission capitulates, so we have to say the Parades Commission got it wrong and they have got it wrong for a number of years.”
Speaking after the morning parade, Holy Cross parish priest Fr Gary Donegan said: “It was one of the most peaceful parades we have had.
“The community just want to it all to be over. If the morning parade goes through peacefully and there is no return — it’s the perfect solution for this community.”
Last year, significant efforts – including the use of a large number of Orange Order and community marshals – helped ensure the day passed off without major incidents.
Meanwhile, there is also a significant police presence in east Belfast.
In total, over 2,000 police officers have been on duty across the city.
In its pre-Twelfth message, the Grand Orange Lodge of Ireland said: “Our struggle will be won by means that have been successful in defeating those who oppose us – perseverance, peaceful protest and prayer.”