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Last Updated: Sunday, 4 July, 2004, 10:17 GMT 11:17 UK
Guide to Drumcree parade route
Restrictions have again been placed on the annual Drumcree Orange Order parade by the Northern Ireland Parades Commission. Orangemen last walked on the mainly nationalist Garvaghy Road in Portadown 1997.

Below is the route of the parade approved by the commission, highlighting where the restrictions come into place. Click on the map or scroll down to find out more.

The parade begins at about 1000 BST in Portadown on the first Sunday of July, before "The Twelfth" - the height of the Protestant marching season.

The lodge's annual parade and church service commemorates the anniversary of the Battle of the Somme in July 1916.

Members of the Portadown District Orange Lodge gather at their Carleton Street hall in the centre of the town.

Once assembled, the members of the lodge begin their parade in the town centre before leaving for the service at Drumcree Church of Ireland Parish Church.

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

Church service

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 just after 1100 BST.

Orangemen protesting at the barrier which prevents them going down the Garvaghy Road
The Orangemen protest at the barrier
There, they enter for the annual service which normally lasts a little more than an hour.

At 1230 BST, 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 in the previous six 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.

Protest at barrier

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

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

At this point a spokeman for the Orangemen usually makes a verbal protest to a senior police officer over the parade's restriction. The members then walk back up the hill - in recent years they have then dispersed.

If the march were allowed to go ahead, the parade would move along a country lane for about half a mile before turning into the 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.

KEY POINTS ALONG THE ROUTE

Orange Hall
Members of Portadown District Orange Lodge gather at their Carleton Street hall in the centre of town for the beginning of Drumcree parade.

Obins Street
The lodge has routinely sought permission to begin the parade along their former route of Obins Street. This has been consistently refused following objections from nationalist residents.

Corcrain Road
The parade heads along Corcrain Road, Charles Street and Dungannon Road as it heads to the outskirts of the town to Drumcree Parish church.

The parade usually reaches Drumcree Church of Ireland Parish church after 1100 BST. The lodge's annual service commemorates the anniversary of the Battle of the Somme.

After the service, the lodge members assemble for the march back to their Orange Hall. They begin to march down a short hill to a bridge across a small stream which leads to the mainly nationalist Garvaghy Road.

When members of the lodge reach the bridge, they will be stopped by the security forces as the Parades Commission has ruled the parade can only return to its Orange Hall by the same non-contentious way it came.

The lodge usually makes a verbal protest to a senior police officer over the parade's restriction. The members then walk back up the hill - in recent years they have then dispersed.

The parade has been barred from marching along the mainly nationalist Garvaghy Road since 1997. Residents' objections to the parade passing through the mainly Catholic area of the town led to the restrictions being imposed.




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