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Tuesday, 2 July, 2002, 17:10 GMT 18:10 UK
Order seeks review of Drumcree ruling
Orangmen marching
Drumcree parade has been restricted for the fifth year
Portadown Orange Lodge has said it will ask for a review of the Northern Ireland Parades Commission's decision to ban it from marching through a nationalist area of the town.

Members of the Protestant loyal order will not be allowed to proceed along the mainly nationalist Garvaghy Road in the County Armagh town on Sunday.

It is the fifth successive year the parade has been barred from taking this route.

The Order wants to use the route on its return journey from a Somme Commemoration service at Drumcree Parish Church, but the march is opposed by nationalist residents.

Assistant Chief Constable Stephen White: Warning to troublemakers
Assistant Chief Constable Stephen White: Warning to troublemakers

The commission made its ruling on the Drumcree parade on Monday.

Deputy District Master of the Portadown Orangemen David Burrows said the decision symbolised the "victimisation of Northern Ireland's unionist community".

Meanwhile, the Church of Ireland Primate, Doctor Robin Eames, has appealed for calm at Drumcree.

In a personal statement on Tuesday, the Archbishop called on the Orange Order to abide by the rule of law, and on the Garvaghy Road residents to recognise their opportunities to help resolve the dispute.

In its determination, the commission said the parade could not go beyond Drumcree Parish Church on its return route.

The commission said that the gulf between the nationalist residents and the Orange Order could best be bridged by mediated dialogue.

It described the lack of dialogue between the commission and district officers as a "considerable disadvantage".

Portadown Orange Order spokesman David Jones said he was very disappointed at the decision.

"Over this last 12 months there has been a lot of effort put in by the Orange side to get this matter resolved," he said.

Click here for parade route

Sinn Fein assembly member for the area Dara O'Hagan said it was very clear the Orange Order would not engage in dialogue with residents or the Parades Commission.

"The residents have continually said that they are prepared to sit down with the Orange Order in Portadown and try and resolve this issue," she said.

The Drumcree parade is the most controversial of all Protestant loyal order parades.

Davi Trimble: UUP leader
David Trimble: Appealed to commission to respect the Orange Order's "right to march"

In the past, tensions over the march have led to violence in many parts of Northern Ireland.

Earlier on Monday, the Ulster Unionist leader David Trimble appealed to the commission to allow the parade to go ahead.

Speaking at Stormont, David Trimble said the right to march should be upheld.

The first minister said everyone needed to remain calm in the coming days and weeks, and respect the rule of law.

Meanwhile, Assistant Chief Constable Stephen White, who is in charge of policing the march, has warned he will not be soft on any troublemakers over Drumcree.

He said the community demanded swift action and he would see that arrests were made if that was necessary.

"Clearly one of the issues for me is to make arrests and be effective and to do so in a way which not only avoids putting officers at risk but clearly is effective and timely. I think that is what the community want also," he said.

"We hear time and time again people from one side or the other saying `why are you not more effective in arresting', so clearly part of the menu of issues that I have at my disposal this year is making effective, quick arrests."

The Northern Ireland Parades Commission was set up in 1997 to make decisions on whether controversial parades should be restricted.

Click here to return

BBC NI's Mervyn Jess:
"Both orangemen and residents are urging a peaceful protest"
The BBC's Anita McVeigh
"They have been banned from this part of the route for the past four years"
Deputy District Master of Portadown David Burrows:
"We were hoping that the Parades Commission would see sense"
Assistant Chief Constable Stephen White:
"The community needs timely and effective policing"
Find out more about the Drumcree dispute in Northern Ireland

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See also:

01 Jul 02 | N Ireland
27 Jun 02 | N Ireland
01 Jul 01 | N Ireland
05 Jul 01 | N Ireland
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