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Wednesday, 4 July, 2001, 18:34 GMT 19:34 UK
Drumcree: The route of the march
A graphic explaining the route of the Drumcree Parade
For the fifth year running, the Drumcree march has been banned - find out about its route and what the Parades Commission said.

The Orange Order Parade at Drumcree is one of the oldest and most important in the organisation's history.

The Commission - set up to rule on contentious parades during Northern Ireland's volatile marching season - said it was "conscious of the recent history of political and community division associated with this parade".

"Whether unionists - who may feel angry and disappointed about an apparent lack of tolerance of their parade on the part of nationalists - or nationalists who may feel angry and disappointed about an apparent lack of respect for their feelings on the part of unionists."

The Commission said there had been conciliatory comments from both sides over the last year, but not enough for it to change its stance.

It said the only way to bridge the gulf between the Orangemen and the Garvaghy Road residents was through mediated dialogue.

Parade route

The parade starts at about 10am on the Sunday before "The Twelfth" - the height of the Protestant marching season - as the members of the Portadown Orange Lodge gather at their Carlton Street hall in the centre of the town.

Once assembled, the members of the lodge begin their parade by marching round the town centre before leaving for the church service at Drumcree.

In previous years, the organisers have routinely sought permission to begin the parade along their previous route of Obins Road - something that has been consistently refused following the objections from nationalist residents.

Instead, the parade heads along Corcrain Road, Charles Street and Dungannon Road into the countryside as it loops round the outskirts of the town to the church.

The marchers usually reach Drumcree Church of Ireland Parish Church just after 11am.

There, they enter for the annual service which normally lasts a little more than an hour.

At 12.30pm, the Portadown district lodge members assemble for the march back to their Orange Hall.

They then begin their march down the short hill to a bridge across a small stream.

However, as with the previous four years, the Parades Commission has ruled that the parade can only return to its Orange Hall by the same way it came in the morning.

Security measures

So when the parade reaches the bridge, it will be stopped by the security forces.

Police officers and security forces have taken measures to prevent protesters crossing the shallow stream and entering the Garvaghy Road area through the fields.

If the march were allowed to go ahead, the parade would move along a country lane for around half a mile before turning into the heavily built Garvaghy Road residential area.

The parade would take approximately 10 minutes to travel the length of Garvaghy Road and re-enter the town centre, completing the day's events.

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