Parade opens controversial IRA memorial

Around one thousand people – including bands and paramilitary-style colour parties – took part in a parade in Belfast’s Ardoyne area yesterday marking the unveiling of a memorial bearing names of over 130 IRA members and local people who died during the Troubles.

The new memorial garden in Butler Place has been the subject of online controversy with the loyalist Ulster Political Research Group criticising the Northern Ireland Housing Executive, whom its says owns the land on which the memorial stands and claiming it should not have allowed the land to be used for this purpose.

Sinn Fein MLA Gerry Kelly was the main speaker at the event.

North Belfast Sinn Fein councillor JJ Magee welcomed the unveiling of the memorial garden.

“Well done to everyone involved in the commemoration garden. Community at its best ,” he said via Twitter.