10,000 loyalists march in Belfast parade to mark centenary of the Ulster Volunteer Force
Parade of marchers wearing period costumes, carrying replica weapons, passed off without incident
Up to 10,000 loyalists took park in a Belfast parade on Saturday marking the centenary of the formation of the Ulster Volunteer Force (UVF).
Supporters lined the streets as marchers, wearing period costumes and carrying replica weapons, set off along the Ravenhill Road.
The event, which stayed clear of sectarian flashpoints, passed off without incident.
Organizers of the parade insisted that there was no link with modern-day paramilitaries and that the emphasis was solely on marking the events of 1913.
Speaking to UTV, Billy Hutchinson, PUP leader, said "There is no matter of UDA, UVF in terms of on show; they wore totally different uniforms than they would have worn then and would have fired real guns and fired shots.
There was some controversy before the parade when hundred of UVF flags erected along the route last weekend raised concerns from some local residents. Police assured them that the flags were not related to a proscribed organization and offered to meet with local community groups.
The parade marks the founding of the old UVF 100 years ago to fight Home Rule. The present day paramilitary group of the same name was formed more than half a century later.
The events culminated in a gathering in the grounds of Craigavon House, where the plans for the original UVF were drawn up 100 years ago.
The great granddaughter of Sir James Craig addressed the crowd and a minute's silence was held for volunteers who had died over the last century.
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pronounced HESUS there were many born in December none were anything exceptional--all this rubbish stuff where are your brains guys & gals ?????Racist incidents in Ireland up by 85 percent says Immigrant Council
Barry- I am a born and bred New Yorker. I was raised in one of its meanest City Projects, educated in its ghetto schools. Skin color has no meaning to25-car pile up looked like a “war zone”, snowy winter weather hits New York
Amazing how a little bit of slippery stuff screws up the the mundane average driver--Daughter of Sandy Hook principal wears wedding dress mom picked out
What a sad,sad thing. There will be a lot emptiness in their homes at Christmas this year. I feel overwhelmed for them. I hope that they know that God