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Thursday, 12 July, 2001, 08:31 GMT 09:31 UK
Order protest over parade ban
The Orangemen have been barred from the Cityside
The Orangemen have been barred from the Cityside
Protestant Orangemen in Londonderry have handed a letter of protest to the city's mayor over a ban on visiting lodges from parading on the predominantly nationalist Cityside.

The Order says the Parades Commission ban is a denial of civil and religious liberties.

The RUC has appealed for everyone to keep cool heads and exercise common sense.

Thursday, 12 July, is the most important date in the Protestant marching calendar and marks the 1690 defeat of Catholic King James by Protestant William of Orange at the Battle of the Boyne.

News of the Orange Order's protest came after the commission said it had decided not to change its original determination, following a request from the Order for the ruling to be reviewed.

On 6 July, the commission ruled that only one lodge from the Fountain area of the city and a local band would be allowed to parade in the city side, but not near the Diamond.

Instead, they will leave the Fountain and make their way down Wapping Lane and over Craigavon Bridge to join the main demonstration.

Hurt by decision

The Londonderry Grand Lodge has called for a dignified day on Thursday but has said it will be registering a protest.

Reverend Stephen Dickinson, the city grand chaplain, said Orangemen were hurt by the decision.

"We feel at the end of the day we are celebrating our faith and our culture and no one need be offended by that," he said.

About 10,000 people are expected for the parade on the Waterside.

The lodge and band will return by the same route.

The nationalist Bogside Residents' Group has said it will not be organising any protest, but has said the issue can only be sorted out through dialogue.

Thursday's parade by the Protestant Orange Order will be its first major demonstration in Derry for nine years.

The other main Orange Order 12 July demonstration site this year is in Belfast.

Talk

The nationalist Bogside Residents Group objected to the Orange Order's application to the Orangemen's proposed parade route through the Diamond area.

Last month the residents said they had lodged their objections with the Parades Commission because the Orange Order would not talk to them about the parade.

It is Orange Order policy not to speak to residents' groups.

The Apprentice Boys of Derry loyal order, which holds annual parades in Derry in August and December, has made agreements with the residents on its parades in recent years.

See also:

10 Jul 01 | Northern Ireland
Parades body upholds Derry decision
06 Jul 01 | Northern Ireland
Restrictions placed on Derry parade
06 Jul 01 | Northern Ireland
No restrictions on Keady parade
09 Jul 01 | Northern Ireland
Minor protest after Drumcree parade
08 Jul 01 | Northern Ireland
Order protests over Drumcree ban
08 Jul 01 | Northern Ireland
Picture gallery: Orange protest at Drumcree
07 Jul 01 | Northern Ireland
Barriers go up around Drumcree
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