Appeals for calm in Derry as 15,000 Apprentice Boys parade

The August Apprentice Boys demonstration is taking place in Derry, with 15,000 people expected in the city.

There is a large-scale security operation in place, with part of Spencer Road closed off because of an alert. Petrol bombs were thrown at police at the scene in the early hours of this morning.

Feeder parades have been taking place across the North with some protests at flashpoint areas such as Ardoyne in Belfast, but no trouble has been reported

The Minister for Foreign Affairs Michael Martin, and the Stormont Executive's Justice Minister David Ford are both appealing for a peaceful day.

The cancellation yesterday of a dissident protest following the resolution of a dispute at Maghaberry has been hailed as a major breakthrough, and David Ford believes that was significant .........