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Orange Order not happy with parades proposals

Published 22/02/2010

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
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
Northern Ireland Troubles gallery.....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
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

Orange Order leaders have expressed concerns over new proposals on controversial marches in Northern Ireland — but have given the First Minister vital breathing space to resolve issues.

With tomorrow’s deadline looming for “agreed outcomes” to be presented to the Office of First Minister and Deputy First Minister, Peter Robinson was relieved that the institution didn’t flatly reject the bare outline proposals on parading in the Hillsborough Deal during a meeting on Saturday.

From tomorrow, though, the heat will be on the DUP leader and Deputy First Minister Martin McGuinness as the media and the public demand to know what the joint DUP/Sinn Fein working group has proposed.

The DUP’s initial assessment of the outcome of Saturday’s Grand Lodge meeting in Tamnamore Orange Hall was that it was a good result for them.

Party sources were content that a motion from Ulster Unionist David McNarry to reject the proposals wasn’t put to a vote, but the Co Down Orangeman’s motion could very well be tabled at next month’s quarterly meeting of Grand Lodge.

The DUP will hope that over the next fortnight it can persuade the Loyal Orders that they have a solution to the intractable parading issue that leaves both sides with comfort room.

In its weekend statement, Grand Lodge said that delegates had “several issues of concern about the proposed arrangements that may come from the current parades working group”, a clear warning to Peter Robinson that they are not comfortable with suggestions that district and local lodges might have to speak to residents’ groups.

Grand Secretary Drew Nelson was unequivocal in his opposition to dialogue with residents’ groups in weekend comments he made and the Grand Lodge statement is a shot across the First Minister’s bows warning him that he could be heading into choppy waters.

But the DUP is whispering that changes have to be made to resolve corrosive parades dispute issues and some of the proposals agreed by the Parades Working Group may prove unpalatable to a sizeable section of the Orange Order membership.

The three DUP members of the group, Jeffrey Donaldson, Nelson McCausland and Stephen Moutray, were given a clear message from a lively meeting with County Grand Lodge Officers last Tuesday night.

That message was that they didn’t like much of what they were hearing.

Belfast Telegraph

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