Saturday, July 3, 1999 Published at 00:01 GMT 01:01 UK
Drumcree decision 'will be upheld'
Security measures are being stepped up around Drumcree Church
A decision by the Parades Commission in Northern Ireland to prevent a march by the Protestant Orange Order from passing a nationalist housing estate will be upheld, the local residents' group has said.
Cllr Breandan MacCionnaith was speaking after new meetings between the Prime Minister and the parties to the long running dispute. Mr Blair also met with Portadown Orangemen at Stormont in the midst of the peace talks.
The Orange men are unlikely to meet Mr Blair again before Sunday, but will be meeting with the Prime Minister's Chief of Staff, Jonathan Powell, the Portadown lodge spokesman, David Jones said following their meeting at Stormont.
Behinds the scene deal feared
The latest meetings come amid allegations from the Garvaghy Road Residents' Coalition, that a behind the scenes deal has been brokered between Downing Street and the Portadown Orangemen.
This memo details plans in which the Prime Minister would walk with the Orangemen from Drumcree Church along the Garvaghy Road, while Cherie Blair would go to Catholic Mass with the residents.
The Orangemen would place a wreath, honouring the victims of violence which occurred during the Drumcree stand-offs in recent years, at a designated point on the contested route. Earlier, the residents would have placed a wreath at the same point.
Peaceful protests sought
Meanwhile, Robert Saulters, the Grand Master of the Orange Lodge of Ireland, has sent a letter to all Orange lodges calling all on all protests this weekend to be peaceful and within the law.
"We will not be calling for the sustained province wide protests which would result in the effective closing down of this country."
"We will not be calling on road blocks to be carried out in support of our cause."
The new moves come as security measures have been stepped up to an unprecedented level in the fields surround the Drumcree Church.
The RUC Chief Constable, Sir Ronnie Flanagan has welcomed the call for peaceful protest by the Orange Grand Master, but has stressed that the police have intelligence that suggests that hangers-on may use the excuse of protests at Drumcree to engage in violence.