Ulster Covenant memorial splits Portadown
The unveiling of a six-foot plinth commemorating the signing of the Ulster Convenant in Portadown has caused concern among local nationalists who said there should have been widespread public consultation first.
The granite structure, funded by Orange institutions including the Black Perceptory and Apprentice Boys, will be unveiled on June 30 at the town centre plaza close to a statue of Colonel Saunderson, MP and comes during the centenary year of the signing of the Covenant, signed by unionists in 1912 against Home Rule.
SDLP MLA for Upper Bann, Delores Kelly, was concerned about the lack of consultation with the wider community but Darryl Hewitt, joint chairman of the Portadown committee and Orange Order district master said “fulfilled our legal requirements” by being granted planning permission and advertising in local newspapers.
Sinn Fein’s Johnny McGibbon said in the Irish News the monument “will be interpreted by many as a sign that unionists perceive the town as a Protestant centre for Protestant people”.