Nervous N. Ireland Cancels St. Paddy's Parade

Festivities called off in town where policeman was killed
By Jason Farago,  Newser Staff
Posted Mar 17, 2009 9:56 AM CDT
Police officers carry the coffin of colleague Stephen Carroll to St. Therese Roman Catholic church, Banbridge, Northern Ireland, March 13, 2009.   (AP Photo)
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(Newser) – A St. Patrick’s Day parade set for today in Northern Ireland was canceled amid growing tensions, reports the Times of London. Loyalist leaders have been nervous about reprisals in Lurgan, where a police officer was shot dead by an Irish republican paramilitary last week. Graffiti in a loyalist area of town referred to a “St. Patrick’s Day massacre.”

Over the weekend, rioters pelted Lurgan police with Molotov cocktails as they continued investigations into the murder of two soldiers by the Real IRA. The Continuity IRA, a different splinter group, claimed responsibility for the murder of the policeman, and seven suspects have been arrested. Despite today’s cancellation, St. Patrick’s parades are going forward in other parts of the country, including Belfast.