Irish Republican News · May 31, 2013
[Irish Republican News]

[Irish Republican News]
IRISH REPUBLICAN NEWS: Order cancels parade following legal action
Order cancels parade following legal action

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The Orange Order has backed down from plans to stage a ‘prayer event’ and an associated march in a park adjacent to the nationalist Garvaghy Road in Portadown.

The event had been given the go ahead to take place next week after it won the support of the unionist-dominated local council.

It was due to be held on the same night as the ‘mini-Twelfth’, one of the anti-Catholic organisation’s main sectarian parades of the year.

The decision was taken as local residents were about to go before the High Court in Belfast to appeal the decision taken by Craigavon council.

The Garvaghy Road became synonymous with loyalist intimidation after the Orange Order’s Drumcree parades were brutally forced through the nationalist enclave against the wishes of residents in the late 1990s. The Order still refuses to talk with the local residents association, the Garvaghy Road Residents Coalition (GRRC).

As it announced its decision, the Orangemen aimed a final swipe at the town’s nationalist community by insisting that funding proposed for the development of the park be withdrawn.

Portadown Sinn Féin Councillor Paul Duffy said there would be “a collective sigh of relief” in Portadown at the decision.

“The Orange Order’s actions in seeking to raise tensions in Portadown was a huge mistake,” he said.

The Orange Order’s call for Craigavon Council to reject the planned investment in the park was also a mistake, he added.

“The council needs to press ahead with the project and build a shared space in the People’s Park. To walk away from the EU supported Shared Space project would see the council throw away the tools required to build the shared space the Orange Order claim to want.

“The council must now move forward with this much needed investment from the EU and build a People’s Park, which all of the people of Portadown can be proud of.”

© 2013 Irish Republican News