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Tuesday, July 14, 1998 Published at 09:42 GMT 10:42 UK


Stand off continues as Orangemen quarrel

Another firebomb attack on the steel barrier

Violence has flared again at Drumcree as the Orange Order's protest against the ban on its march continues.


BBC News' Gary Duffy: mood of defiance continues
The traditional climax to the marching season brought a visit from the leader of the Democratic Unionist Party Ian Paisley who urged the men to stay there for as long as it took.

He said there were some trying to use the murder of three young boys at Ballymoney to discredit the Orange Order demonstrators.


[ image: Rev Bingham: Accused of treachery]
Rev Bingham: Accused of treachery
But the Orange Order's chaplain for County Armagh Rev William Bingham has repeated his call for the protest to end, leading to a hard-line member of the order branding him a traitor.

Rev Bingham claimed public support for his belief that no road was worth three young lives.

However Joel Patton from the Spirit of Drumcree group said Rev Bingham was a traitor to the cause, and heckled the chaplain during a demonstration at Pomeroy in County Tyrone, where there were scuffles between Orangemen. but not the level of violence that had been feared before the firebomb deaths of three young boys in Rev Paisley's constituency.


[ image: A soldier looks over a sparsely occupied hill at Drumcree]
A soldier looks over a sparsely occupied hill at Drumcree
The three brothers: Richard Quinn, who was 11, Mark, nine, and eight-year-old Jason were killed when their house at Ballymoney was set alight over the weekend.

Their funeral takes place on Tuesday morning.

The murders have been linked to the Drumcree demonstrations and some leading members of the Orange Order have called for the stand off to end.

Orangemen are camped at Drumcree church on the outskirts of Portadown after they were banned by an independent government commission from taking their annual parade route through a predominately nationalist area.

The protest has gone on for over a week, after some demonstrators vowed to stay there for a year - or until they are allowed to march through a massive security barrier.

Monday night was the traditional climax to the marching season, and before the Quinn murders, tens of thousands of Orangemen from across the province were anticipated at Drumcree.


[ image: There are tensions between Orangemen]
There are tensions between Orangemen
Following appeals for calm, the numbers were smaller although protesters still tried to break through the cordon, and attacked security forces who responded with plastic bullets.

The BBC's News Correspondent Gary Duffy said the mood varied from the farcical, when two streakers ran across a nearby field winning applause from the protestors, to more threatening, when fireworks and missiles were thrown from the crowd.

The rioters numbered around 200 to begin with but soon diminished to "a handful", according to the Royal Ulster Constabulary.

Handrails and other parts of the barriers were dismantled and two blasts were heard from behind it in the early hours.

An injured man was later removed by car, and one other protester was hurt falling from the barricade.

Elsewhere the province was free of loyalist protests - but three Orange Halls were attacked by arsonists, and one - at Dungannon in County Tyrone - was badly damaged.





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