Drumcree parade rerouted

The Drumcree Orange parade this Sunday will not be allowed to pass down the nationalist Garvaghy Road for a twelfth year, the Parades Commission has decided.

Orangemen have been banned from marching down the road in Portadown since ]998 and the commission found there was a “likelihood of public disorder” if the parade was allowed to pass this year.

Instead, marchers walking to Drumcree parish church will be diverted away from the nationalist area.

The march saw standoffs between Orangemen, nationalists and police and widespread rioting in Portadown in the late 1990s and 2000.

Drumcree Orangemen only formally notified the Parades Commission last weekend of their plans to hold the annual march on Sunday.

The notification form should have been lodged by June 6 but Portadown District Orangemen with-held it in protest at what they said were “illegal republican parades”.

Meanwhile, residents of the overwhelmingly nationalist village of Nwwtownbutler, County Fermanagh are objecting to a contentious loyalist band parade due to take place this Friday.

They are asking the Parades Commission to review their decision to allow parade go ahead.

The border town of Newtownbutler is 98.5% nationalist.

But this Friday evening at 8 o’clock up to five hundred loyalists will participate in band parade through the town.

The area’s residents association has met twice on the issue and are strongly objecting to it.

Spokesperson for the association, Thomas O’Reilly, says the parade organisers have ignored the local residents and have applied to walk out the Crom Road.

He says if the event does go ahead, it will allow the bands and their supporters to engage in yet another year of coat-trailing and triumphalism.

A number of local political organisations have expressed their opposition to the parade and a protest is planned.

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