Belfast Telegraph

Friday 6 March 2015

UDA man’s comments unhelpful: Orange Order

Disturbances On Garvaghy Road Portadown May 1998. Rioters hurl stones at RUC riot police on the Garvaghy Road, Portadown, Northern Ireland, during disturbances following an Orange parade in the area.
Orange Order: Drumcree, Portadown
Drumcree Orange Parade At Portadown July 1998. Portadown Grand Master Harold Gracey gives a speech to the crowds outside Drumcree Church of Ireland.
Drumcree Orange Order Demonstration Scarfs drapped around the Road Sign of Drumcree near Portadown
Army Prepare For Drumcree July 2001
DAVID TRIMBLE MAKES HIS WAY TO GREET THE PORTADOWN ORANGEMEN AFTER THEY MARCHED DOWN GARVAGHY RD 1996.
Nationalist Protest March At Garvaghy Road March 1998. A young Loyalist waves the Union Jack at Royal Ulster Constabulary police in riot gear, from the Loyalist side of the town of Portadown, Northern Ireland, as a nationalist-republican protest march, passed by peacefully down the Nationalist Garvaghy road.
Orangemen On The Garvaghy Road, July 2000
A petrol bomber on the Garvaghy Road
Orangemen go no further as they reach the barrier at Drumcreee preventing them from marching on the Garvaghy Rd.
Tempers flare as Orangemen are blocked from walking the Garvaghy Rd, Drumcree, July 2000
GARVAGHY RD JULY 1996. POLICE OFFICERS REMOVE PROTESTING NATIONALISTS FROM GARVAGHY RD.
Nationalist Protest March At Garvaghy Road March 1998. Security Forces kept a Loyalist counter demonstration at a safe distance from Nationalist marchers near Oben Street, Portadown
Nationalist Protest March At Garvaghy Road March 1998. Brid Rodgers and Brendan McKenna in attendance at Garvaghy Road demonstration, Portadown
GARVAGHY RD JULY 1996. POLICE OFFICERS REMOVE PROTESTING NATIONALISTS FROM GARVAGHY RD.
Drumcree - July 6th 2002. Soldiers erect a security fence at Drumcree Church in Portadown.
An RUC officer fires plastic bullets at rioting nationalists on the Garvaghy Road
An injured woman is led away, Drumcree July 1997
Garvaghy Road Residents Meet With David Trimble May 99. Brendan McKenna arrives at Craigavon Civic Centre to meet the First Minister David Trimble in an effort to solve the Drumcree stand off.
Drumcree July 2000
Drumcree by Tony Hendron
Portadown March at Drumcree bridge July 2002 Portadown District Orangemen parade down to the barrier at Drumcree before trouble flared
Nationalist protesters walk to Garvaghy Road July 1997. Residents Coalition in Drumcree Portadown to voice their anger at Loyalist Parades through their area
Riot Police are called in every night to the Garvaghy Road as the Drumcree Stand Off continues
Drumcree, Northern Ireland. A makeshift road block on main road into Portadown town centre
Mark Harbinson pictured at Drumcree July 2000

Calls for Orangemen to walk away from the Garvaghy Road have been branded “unhelpful’’ by Lodge members.

The Order hit back after loyalist leader Jackie McDonald claimed there was no point in Orangemen walking down nationalist routes.

“It might be tradition and it might be culture but why would you?” the UDA ‘brigadier’ told the Belfast Telegraph in an interview yesterday.

McDonald’s comments come as the Sinn Fein/DUP working group continues to struggle to find a solution to the parading issue, and ahead of tomorrow’s special meeting of the Orange Order Grand Lodge where the only item on the agenda will be parading.

In a statement issued last night a spokesman for the Orange Order said: “Mr McDonald’s comments are not helpful at this time.”

Portadown District Master Daryl Hewitt declined to comment on Jackie McDonald’s shock remarks, saying the former UDA brigadier did not speak on behalf of the Orange Order.

DUP councillor and long-standing north Antrim Orangeman John Finlay said both sides must be accommodated during the marching season.

“I would have thought that this country was trying to move forward where both traditions can be accommodated,” he said.

“All we are asking is to walk down the Queen’s highway and if we can’t do that then there is no shared future. If Jackie McDonald is saying that there are certain roads for certain people then we are in a bad way. If we all pay our taxes and pay rates, both sides need to be accommodated.”

McDonald also attacked the triumphalism of marches through contentious areas and claimed Orangemen wanted to walk certain routes to “get one up” on the other community.

Ulster Unionist MLA Tom Elliott, a member of Knockmanoul LOL 443 in Fermanagh for almost 30 years, denied the claims.

“I don’t accept those comments, it is not to get one up on the other community and never has been.

“I would question Jackie McDonald’s level of knowledge in making these assessments.

“He is almost doing the work that he’s talking about in that for Sinn Fein.

“ He is certainly playing to their agenda.”

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