Europe South Asia Asia Pacific Americas Middle East Africa BBC Homepage World Service Education

Front Page



UK Politics







Talking Point

In Depth

On Air

Low Graphics

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.

[ image: Breandan MacCionnaith fears a behind the scenes deal]
Breandan MacCionnaith fears a behind the scenes deal
At a press conference on Friday morning, Cllr MacCionnaith, produced a leaked memo, supposedly from the Prime Minister's Press Secretary, Alastair Campbell.

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.

Advanced options | Search tips

Back to top | BBC News Home | BBC Homepage | ©

UK Contents

Northern Ireland

Relevant Stories

02 Jul 99 | UK
Water cannon option for Drumcree

02 Jul 99 | UK
Drumcree: Marching into the past

30 Jun 99 | UK
Loyalist violence threat at Drumcree

29 Jun 99 | UK Politics
Parade ban raises Drumcree tension

19 May 99 | UK
How Drumcree became a sectarian flashpoint

Internet Links

Grand Orange Lodge of Ireland

Portadown Orange Lodge


Garvaghy Road Residents Coalition

The BBC is not responsible for the content of external internet sites.

In this section

Next steps for peace

Blairs' surprise over baby

Bowled over by Lord's

Beef row 'compromise' under fire

Hamilton 'would sell mother'

Industry misses new trains target

From Sport
Quins fightback shocks Cardiff

From Business
Vodafone takeover battle heats up

IRA ceasefire challenge rejected

Thousands celebrate Asian culture

From Sport
Christie could get two-year ban

From Entertainment
Colleagues remember Compo

Mother pleads for baby's return

Toys withdrawn in E.coli health scare

From Health
Nurses role set to expand

Israeli PM's plane in accident

More lottery cash for grassroots

Pro-lifers plan shock launch

Double killer gets life

From Health
Cold 'cure' comes one step closer

From UK Politics
Straw on trial over jury reform

Tatchell calls for rights probe into Mugabe

Ex-spy stays out in the cold

From UK Politics
Blair warns Livingstone

From Health
Smear equipment `misses cancers'

From Entertainment
Boyzone star gets in Christmas spirit

Fake bubbly warning

Murder jury hears dead girl's diary

From UK Politics
Germ warfare fiasco revealed

Blair babe triggers tabloid frenzy

Tourists shot by mistake

A new look for News Online