Orange Order calls for equality over Drumcree stand-off
Portadown Orangemen — banned again from their return Drumcree march via the Garvaghy Road yesterday — called for “equality” as hopes grow for a solution to the Ardoyne parades dispute.
District Master Darryl Hewitt told the crowd at the barrier that positive moves had been made between the Order and the local residents in north Belfast, where face-to-face talks are on the agenda.
“But here in Portadown, the Garvaghy Road Residents Coalition (GRRC) is refusing to talk to us to try and resolve the issue,” he added.
“The Parades Commission is doing absolutely nothing to set up talks and frustrating us all along the line.”
District secretary David Jones was so angry that he ripped up the written determination issued by the commission and threw in on to the ground.
Around 300 Orangemen took part in the outward parade, and after the service in Drumcree, they protested at police lines. Joe Duffy, chairman of the GRRC said that face-to-face talks simply would not happen, “with the Parades Commission having ruled against it, and we aren't about to negotiate away a position with which we agree”.
He added: “A return via the Garvaghy Road simply won't happen. The issue is settled.”