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UDA chief tells Orange Order to walk away from Garvaghy Road

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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.

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

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 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

Drumcree Orange Order Demonstration Scarfs drapped around the Road Sign of Drumcree near Portadown

Army Prepare For Drumcree July 2001

Army Prepare For Drumcree July 2001

DAVID TRIMBLE MAKES HIS WAY TO GREET THE PORTADOWN ORANGEMEN AFTER THEY MARCHED DOWN GARVAGHY RD 1996.

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.

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

Orangemen On The Garvaghy Road, July 2000

A petrol bomber on the Garvaghy Road

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.

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

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.

GARVAGHY RD JULY 1996. POLICE OFFICERS REMOVE PROTESTING NATIONALISTS FROM GARVAGHY RD.

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

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

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.

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.

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 RUC officer fires plastic bullets at rioting nationalists on the Garvaghy Road

An injured woman is led away, Drumcree July 1997

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.

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 July 2000

Drumcree by Tony Hendron

Drumcree by Tony Hendron

Portadown March at Drumcree bridge July 2002 Portadown District Orangemen parade down to the barrier at Drumcree before trouble flared

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

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

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

Drumcree, Northern Ireland. A makeshift road block on main road into Portadown town centre

Mark Harbinson pictured at Drumcree July 2000

Mark Harbinson pictured at Drumcree July 2000

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Loyalist leader Jackie McDonald wants Orangemen to walk away from the Garvaghy Road in Portadown — unless they can agree a parade with local residents.



The shock remarks from the former UDA ‘brigadier’ comes as Northern Ireland’s politicians struggle to find a way forward on the issue of controversial parades.







A DUP/Sinn Fein working group has been tasked with designing “a new and improved framework” to rule on parades and will report next week.

But on the question of what should happen on the ground, UDA ‘brigadier’ McDonald has made his position clear.

“People used to walk down roads where Protestants lived.

“Now they want to walk down the same road where nationalists live.

“It might be tradition and it might be culture, but why would you?”

He said if Orangemen want to walk on the Garvaghy Road then it should be “by agreement and arrangement with the residents, without any outside interference”.

Recent similar comments by Sinn Fein president Gerry Adams brought an angry response from senior DUP figures including First Minister and party leader Peter Robinson.

McDonald also criticised republicans — accusing them of manipulating the parades issue, and he said Sinn Fein’s involvement with resident groups had “polluted” the atmosphere.

But speaking in a wide-ranging interview for the Belfast Telegraph he argued for a “commonsense” approach.

“They (Sinn Fein) manipulated that situation, and Gerard Rice did the same thing on the Ormeau Road.

“If you take Sinn Fein out of the whole argument, the argument is they (the Orange Order) shouldn’t walk down the Garvaghy Road or the (lower) Ormeau Road anyway, because there are no Protestants (living there) any more.

“That’s the commonsense argument, but Sinn Fein has actually polluted it.”

The loyalist leader also attacked “triumphalism” linked to marching. “What I’ve seen at Garvaghy Road before, or the Ormeau Road — once they got down the road, it was triumphalism straight out.

“That’s not the reason to walk down the road.

“That wasn’t the reason they walked down the road 30 years ago, or 50 years ago or 100 years ago. But they’ve turned it round.

“They’re not walking down the same road for the same reason.

“It’s to get one up on the other community, or being there because the other community says you can’t be.”

After the recent decommissioning confirming an end to wars, McDonald believes that the emphasis now should be on community building, and he plans a major conference in Sandy Row in Belfast in the near future.

But he says he is against “forced integration”, and that it is too soon to think about demolishing the so-called peace walls.

“It’s an ideal that everybody has and it would be a massive thing if it ever happened,” he said.

But he added: “There’s 40 years of hatred and bigotry and anger and revenge. It’s going to take a long time.”

That planned community conference in Sandy Row will bring under one roof leading loyalists and republicans, including Sean ‘Spike’ Murray, one of the most senior figures in the IRA’s war.

The intention had been to hold the event next week, but it is being delayed to accommodate one of the key speakers.

“It’s all about community development,” McDonald said. “And it’s to show everybody the two communities can work together.”

Belfast Telegraph


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