Although serious sectarian strife had been anticipated. July 13 proved to be a mainly trouble-free?
Although serious sectarian strife had been anticipated. July 13 proved to be a mainly trouble-free day of Orange Parades in Northern Ireland, celebrating the 280th Anniversary of the Battle of The Boyne.
Seventeen thousand troops and policemen spent a tense day; however, on the alert for an outbreak of sudden violence between Catholics and Protestants.
Biggest of the Parades celebrating King Willain of Orange's victory over the Catholic King James, was in Belfast, where 40,000 people marched to a spot called Finaghy filed some five miles outside the city centre.
Catholics stayed quietly in their own districts while the marchers went by, with bands blaring out rousing Protestant tunes.
Troops stood guard all day at barricades strung across every likely crossing between Catholic and Protestant districts.
An army spokesman said at the end of the day that the military authorities would now start to consider whether they could dispense with some of the 11,000 troops now deployed around the Province.
Northern Ireland Development Minister Brian Faulkner told a press conference: "It should be regarded as a significant victory for common sense that the occasion went off without incident.
Only one incident marred the day-a firebomb attack late in the night on an unoccupied Catholic-owned hotel near the trouble-plagued Falls road in Belfast.
The building was badly damaged by fire but no-one was reported injured.