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Irish Protestant Parades Held Without Violence of the Past - New York Times

DUBLIN, July 12 (AP) -- Tens of thousands of Protestants marched without trouble through Northern Ireland's streets on Thursday in an annual event that once ignited conflict with Catholics.

The marches, by the Orange Order, are held annually on July 12 -- an official holiday in Northern Ireland called The Twelfth -- in commemoration of a victory by the Protestant forces of King William of Orange over James II, the Catholic king he ousted from the English throne.

Catholics have long loathed the parades, which they saw as an effort to intimidate them, but the calm atmosphere on Thursday was attributed to an increasing political cooperation between the sides.

In the past decade, Catholics led by Sinn Fein, a party linked to the Irish Republican Army, had tried to block the Orangemen from parading through or near Catholic districts, often resulting in violence.

by Fran on Sat Jul 14th, 2007 at 02:29:04 AM EST
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This is such good news - so there's at least one problem that seems to have been solved intelligently and successfully.
by ThatBritGuy (thatbritguy (at) googlemail.com) on Sat Jul 14th, 2007 at 08:03:06 AM EST
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