British peacekeeping troops and riot police cordoned off the predominantly Catholic village of Dungiven on Sunday (14 June) to prevent serious violence during a march of Orangemen.
British peacekeeping troops and riot police cordoned off the predominantly Catholic village of Dungiven on Sunday (14 June) to prevent serious violence during a march of Orangemen. The Orangemen belong to a militant Protestant organization founded in 1795 and named after William Orange. There were minor skirmished during Sunday's parade and three policemen were slightly injured.
The normally quiet village was swamped with troops and armoured cars as more than a thousand soldiers and extra police moved in to help Dungiven's eight man force. The troops, who have been in Ulster since last summer's bloody riots between Catholics and Protestants lined the parade route and set up road blocks. Armoured cars were parked in side streets and troops took up positions in surrounding fields.
The march was only one of a number traditionally held at this time of year but extra security precautions have been put into effect to cover any possible flareups during the build up to General Elections on June 18. There are a total of 7,500 British troops in Northern Ireland.
The only sign of trouble at Sunday's march came when Catholic youths removed the hats of two Protestant marchers. Police quickly moved in and were stoned by Catholic bystanders. Eight people were arrested.
During last year's parade the police station was stormed and sacked and the Orange Hall, headquarters of the Protestants, was set on fire.