Two people watch the flames at a bonfire on the Westland estate in north Belfast which was one of hundreds lit early Monday July 12, 2004, ahead of the biggest day in the Northern Ireland marching season. Security forces braced for possible violence as te
BELFAST, Northern Ireland - Strutting to the sound of fife and drum, tens of thousands of conservative Protestants from the Orange Order brotherhood paraded peacefully Monday on Northern Ireland's most divisive holiday.
The daylong demonstrations in 18 towns and cities followed a night of towering bonfires, sporadic acts of violence and menacing appearances by masked gunmen in at least two hard-line Protestant parts of Belfast.
Police prepared for possible evening clashes in Belfast when Orangemen march back to their lodges â€” and past hostile Catholic districts.
The "Twelfth," an official holiday in Northern Ireland marked each July 12, officially commemorates the 1690 Battle of the Boyne. On that day, the forces of the newly crowned Protestant king of England, William of Orange, defeated a rival army loyal to James II, William's deposed Catholic rival, in a river valley 70 miles south of...