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Last Updated: Monday, 30 June, 2003, 14:07 GMT 15:07 UK
Garvaghy Road march banned
Drumcree parade
Drumcree parade has been restricted for the sixth year
The Protestant Orange Order has again been barred from marching down the flashpoint Garvaghy Road in Portadown.

The Northern Ireland Parades Commission announced on Monday that the parade must not go down the mainly nationalist road after a church service.

This is the sixth successive year that the parade has been barred from taking this route.

Meanwhile, Garvaghy Residents' Association spokesman Breandan MacCionnaith has denied speculation that the annual stand-off is about to be resolved.

"The last process was under the chairmanship of Brian Currin, which finished in November 2001," he said.

"Since then, there has been no process to which we have been invited to attend, nor in which we have participated.

"If there are meetings going on, and certainly some of the media speculation indicates private meetings between the Orange Order and the government at this stage, the residents have been totally excluded."

The Orange Order argues that following the march route - from Portadown to Drumcree Church and back, via the mainly Catholic Garvaghy Road - is a celebration of their heritage.

But many Catholics regard it as provocative.

The Commission's decision follows objections from nationalist residents and takes account of fears there could be violence.

Last year's annual parade at Drumcree saw angry confrontations after the march was stopped from marching through the area.

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

Orangemen condemn Drumcree violence
09 Jul 02  |  Northern Ireland
Officers injured after march ban
07 Jul 02  |  Northern Ireland
Trimble appeal over Drumcree route
01 Jul 02  |  Northern Ireland

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