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Friday, September 24, 1999 Published at 20:53 GMT 21:53 UK

UK Politics

Both sides in Drumcree dispute meet minister

Drumcree: March issue remains unresolved despite meetings

Both sides in the on-going Drumcree marching dispute are in separate talks with the Northern Ireland Security Minister Adam Ingram.

Representatives from the Protestant Order Order and a nationalist residents' group are attending meetings at Stormont in Belfast.

However, as they arrived, members of the Garvaghy Road Residents Coalition were not happy about the way the talks were called.

[ image: Breandan MacCionnnaith: Not happy with format of talks]
Breandan MacCionnnaith: Not happy with format of talks
Spokesman Breandan MacCionnaith said that they had made it clear to the government there was a problem with this meeting.

"It has not been agreed as to the format, the structures, the agenda and it almost seems as if the government is trying to entrap the nationalist community in Portadown into a process that has not been agreed," he said.

But Portadown Orange Lodge has accused the residents' group of stalling the talks process.

Spokesman David Jones said the Orange delegation had arrived at 1700 BST, expecting to hold talks with the minister, and through legal and elected representatives, with the residents' group themselves.

He said an observer from the Northern Ireland Parades Commission had been asked to attend, but claimed that the residents had objected.

Mr Jones said talks had not yet begun between the two groups, but each was talking separately to the minister.

The Drumcree dispute centres around the Orange Order's desire to walk down the mainly Catholic and nationalist Garvaghy Road, in Portadown, County Armagh.

The Parades Commission barred the Drumcree parade from passing along the Garvaghy Road in July.

The Orange Order staged a mainly peaceful protest, but the march has proved a flashpoint for four years now and has seen violent outbursts.

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