Belfast Telegraph

Saturday 19 April 2014

Orange chiefs ponder plea to Owen Paterson over Drumcree

Portadown Orange leaders are considering an appeal to Secretary of State Owen Paterson after being urged to call off their weekly protest parades at Drumcree.

District Master Darryl Hewitt is angry that the Parades Commission - as revealed in the Belfast Telegraph yesterday - has attempted to put the lodge under pressure while the Garvaghy Road march is unresolved.

It was Mr Paterson who put the new Commission and its chairman Peter Osborne in place after alternative plans for dealing with parades - devised over weeks of negotiations between Sinn Fein and the DUP - were roundly rejected by the Order's ruling body, the Grand Orange Lodge.

Mr Hewitt said: "I am considering asking for a meeting with Mr Paterson but want to consult with my colleagues first.

"I am taken aback that the commission which Mr Paterson appointed has attempted to put pressure on us while saying nothing about the Garvaghy Road Residents' Coalition which has refused to meet with us."

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