With the adamant decision that their big parade will take place next Monday (July 13), members of the Orange Order marched through the decorated streets of Belfast today (July 8) at a full dress rehearsal.
GV & CU Decorated Orange Arch enscribed 1690-1912.
GV Bunting in streets
CU PAN Children beneath flags outside house
SV Flags over street
CU Shops decorated with Union Jacks (2 shots)
CU Red Hand emblem on wall
CU PAN FROM Red hand emblem with inscription "Ulster" on young boy's blazer PAN TO his face (LISTENS TO BAND)
GV Orangemen in march
SV PAN FROM Orangemen to girls' band
BV Girls' band
CU PAN Drum and fife band followed by Orangemen
BV Procession continues.
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Background: With the adamant decision that their big parade will take place next Monday (July 13), members of the Orange Order marched through the decorated streets of Belfast today (July 8) at a full dress rehearsal.
Both in Westminster and Ulster, tension mounted as preparations for the parade to celebrate the Protestant victory at the 1690 Battle of Boyne went ahead. This victory was over the Catholic James II.
The Protestant majority in Ulster look upon the Orange parade as a fundamental right. To the Catholic minority of the province it is a provocation.
So intense is the fear of violence as the result of the parade that the Irish Republic's Foreign Minister Patrick Hillery made a secret visit to Belfast last weekend. One of his declared objectives was to try to get the parade banned.
A delegation of leading Orangemen conferred with British Home Secretary Reginald Maudling in London. They assured Mr. Maudling that, in their view, the parade would not incite violence.
But despite the assurance, there is a fear of a major outbreak of fighting.
One indication that perhaps the march by bowler-hatted, banner carrying local branches of the Orange Order escorted by fife and drum bands, will not prove as violent as predicted, was the unspectacular and peaceful way in which a dress rehearsal for the big parade passed off without incident.
Through the Union Jack and Orange Order emblem decorated streets of the Protestant section of the city marched hundreds of men, women and children to the strident music of pipes and drums.
Pavements were lined with onlookers, but this year's parade is much more than a spectacle--it could be the flash point in troubled Ulster.