Sunday, July 5, 1998 Published at 18:52 GMT 19:52 UK
Siege of Drumcree
Orangemen mark out their territory next to the church
Up to 2,000 Orangemen are in the area surrounding Drumcree church in Portadown at the beginning of their protest over the Garvachy Road march ban.
Estimates suggest around 2,000 Orangemen may bed down for the first night of what could be a long siege in the fields surrounding the church.
They are protecting the nationalist Garvaghy Road area whose residents have long objected to the march, and who are this year protected by a ruling from the government's independent Parades Commission.
But despite a peaceful Sunday morning march by thousands of Orangemen from across the province along this route, the men tried to use the banned way back and were refused entry.
Many of the Orangemen then set up camp with the stated intention of staying until they are allowed to walk down the road.
Some have promised to stay for up to a year if necessary.
With ditches across the fields and up to three strands of barbed wire in the way, under present circumstances the Orangemen have no chance of getting through.
They were requested not to do so by Orange Order members using a loud hailer.
RUC Chief Constable Ronnie Flanagan says he will not overturn the commission ruling.
On Monday the Parades Commission is due to announce decisions on other marches due to take place around the July 12 period next weekend, and it is though this could have a bearing on the situation at Drumcree.
Fears of trouble elsewhere
Despite the calm scenes around the church there is a tense atmosphere across Northern Ireland.
So far there has been only minor trouble.
A car was burnt out by a crowd of 100 in north Belfast while roads were blocked by protesters in the south and east of the city.
There were also reports of occasional stoning of passing traffic.
More serious was the seizing of 48 petrol bombs in Londonderry before the Drumcree march began.
A facility for making such weapons was also discovered in Carricfergus, Co Antrim.