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13 July 2000 Edition

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Residents protest Springfield Road march

After a night of loyalist attacks on the Springfield Road, the RUC sealed the area off to allow this year's Twelfth parade through. The area from Lanark Way to Workman Avenue was littered with rocks, stones and the broken bottles of a night's attacks. The RUC members on duty at the time refused to move against the loyalists, claiming that they were ``in a different division''.

The loyalist parade went through the area on Wednesday morning, 12 July, as residents held a peaceful protest.

The Parades Commission decision to allow the Orange march on the Springfield Road was described as ``unbelievable'' by Sinn Féin councillor Tom Hartley. He was speaking after party representatives met with the Commission last Wednesday, 5 July, in an attempt to have the decision overturned. The Commission had ruled earlier that it would allow the Twelfth parade to march along the Springfield Road, despite objections by residents.

Springfield residents are particularly incensed given that Orangemen had previously broken every restriction on them made imposed by the Commission.

On Saturday, 24 June, men wearing UDA uniform and carrying UDA banners were allowed participate in the Whiterock Parade and loyalist music was blasted through a tannoy system in a clear breach of the spirit of the Commission's ruling that music was not to be played on the Springfield Road.

It has now emerged that all members of the Springfield Residents' Action Group have been cautioned by the RUC in relation to disturbances that occurred on the Springfield Road that day.

Some clashes erupted as the RUC, dressed in riot gear, attacked nationalists. Sinn Féin assembly member Gerry Kelly was hit on the head by an RUC baton and received hospital treatment.

In a statement Tom Hartley, said: ``It would seem that the purpose of these cautions is to intimidate anyone who might be inclined to protest against this decision.''

An Phoblacht
44 Parnell Sq.
Dublin 1

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