A Parades Commission ruling banning Orangemen from marching along the Garvaghy Road on Drumcree Sunday has been welcomed.
For the ninth year in a row the commission has ruled that 2,000 Orangemen and three accompanying bands cannot parade through the nationalist enclave. The Drucmree march is traditionally the most violent of the Order’s parades, with British forces previously used to brutally clear the parade route of nationalist protesters.
Welcoming the decision, Garvaghy Road Residents Coalition spokesman Breandan Mac Cionnaith said: “Given the controversy which has surrounded the commission from the outset, it was clear that it could not afford to take any other decision in relation to this march.”
Mr Mac Cionnaith said the history of the parade included the systematic intimidation of the Catholic population of Portadown, including sectarian murder.
“It was obvious that the Portadown district could not be permitted by the commission to march along the Garvaghy Road without having a hugely damaging effect on inter-communal relationships, not only in Portadown, but throughout the six counties,” he said.
However, Mr Mac Cionnaith said the determination would not stop Garvaghy Road residents from continuing their legal challenge against the controversial appointment of two Orangemen to the Parades Commission.
* In the County Antrim village of Stoneyford the commission has banned a parade from marching through two mixed estates on July 11.
* In west Belfast 60 Orangemen and one band will be allowed to parade along a nationalist section of the Springfield Road and through the Workman Avenue gate on July 12 morning.
* In the mainly nationalist village of Dunloy in County Antrim the commission has ruled that a parade involving 40 Orangemen and one band, is restricted from the main street.
* In south Belfast 500 Orangemen and six bands have been rerouted away from the lower Ormeau Road along Annadale embankment.