POLICE are investigating "widespread breaches" after thousands of loyalists took part in an illegal parade through Belfast city centre at the weekend.
Around 1,000 people set off from Belfast City Hall at 1.30pm on Saturday - an hour after the Parades Commission ruled the march should begin.
A large security operation swung into place for the parade which brought the city centre to a standstill on the busiest shopping day of the week.
Organisers had wanted to start the march at 2pm but were ordered to begin of 12.30pm.
Police used large electronic signs located close to Belfast City Hall and loud speakers to warn those taking part that the parade was "unlawful".
A spokeswoman for the PSNI last night confirmed there were "widespread breaches" of the commission's determination.
The march, involving up to 20 bands, made its way along Royal Avenue to the Shankill Road where the numbers taking part rose to around 3,000 before joining the weekly Orange Order protest in the Twaddell Avenue area.
It has also been reported that a band taking part in the parade played the sectarian Famine Song as it passed along Royal Avenue.
Organised by the previously unknown Loyal Peaceful Protesters, many of those taking part carried Union flags and banners.
Some of those behind Saturday's parade are believed to be considering holding similar marches in the coming weeks.
Belfast DUP councillor Lee Reynolds took part in Saturday's parade through the city centre with his Orange lodge.
"I am not aware of any other proposals. If anybody is of that mind I would encourage them to engage with traders in the city," he said.
The DUP man described the Parades Commission decision to bring the start time of Saturday's parade forward as "hopeless".
"There was no reason why it had to be moved forward, no rationale. It was made out of spite," he said.
SDLP assembly member for North Belfast Alban Maginness, who observed the parade described it as a "damp squib" but called on the PSNI to investigate the determination breaches.
"It's an attempt by the Orange and their supporters to undermine the Parades Commission and reduce their lawful authority to make them appear weak," he said.
A spokeswoman for the PSNI said: "No arrests were made in connection with the breaches yesterday.
"However, evidence gathering teams were deployed as part of the policing operation and breaches of the Parades Commission determination will be investigated in due course."
BREACHES: Up to 1,000 loyalists take part in an illegal march through Belfast city centre on Saturday afternoon
PICTURES: Pacemaker and Presseye