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The BBC's Kevin Connolly
"Drumcree is a focal point for wider anger"
 real 56k

Portadown Orange leader Harold Gracey:
"I won't condemn violence"
 real 56k

Northern Ireland Secretary Peter Mandelson:
"Outcome may have been different if Orangemen moved earlier"
 real 28k

Saturday, 8 July, 2000, 10:50 GMT 11:50 UK
Drumcree protest 'has lost integrity'

Soldiers patrol in Portadown before Sunday's march
The Church of Ireland Primate has strongly criticised protests over the Drumcree parades dispute.

Archbishop Robin Eames said the involvement of loyalist paramilitary figures had removed any integrity the protests may have had.

Dr Eames' comments came as security forces geared up for Sunday's Orange Order march in Portadown, County Armagh.

On Friday the Parades Commission upheld its decision to ban the Orangemen from marching along the mainly nationalist Garvaghy Road on the way from its religious service at Drumcree Church.


Archbishop Robin Eames: Wants call for end to violence

Dr Eames said in a statement that the Church of Ireland Synod had placed respect for the sanctity of worship and for church property among the conditions for the service.

He called for an immediate and unequivocal response from the Orangemen, which should be coupled with an equally clear call for all violence to stop immediately.

Portadown Orange Lodge district master Harold Gracey refused to condemn the violence which followed his call for street protests.

In a BBC interview, Mr Gracey said: "I refuse to condemn the violence because Gerry Adams never condemns violence."

The interview followed publication of a proposal by the Portadown Orangemen which said they held out the possibility of talks leading to mediation with the residents if Sunday's march got the go-ahead.

A spokesman for the Garvaghy Road residents, who oppose the march, described the offer as a "tired old proposal from tired old men out of touch with reality".

Overnight protests
Six road blocks in Belfast
Petrol bombs found in North Belfast
Newtownards
Lisburn

There were further protests on roads throughout Northern Ireland but especially in Belfast.

Police said the disturbances were not on the same scale as those earlier this week.

The former loyalist paramilitary commander Johnny Adair has also been spotted at Drumcree for a third time this week.

Protesters are thought to have stayed at home in many areas after the Grand Master of the Orange Order Robert Saulters appealed for calm to allow Northern Ireland to pay its last respects to motorcycling hero Joey Dunlop.

Shops and businesses closed early for the second night running in many parts of Northern Ireland.

Belfast, which would have normally expected a busy Friday night marking the start of the traditional two-week holiday period before the Twelfth of July, the highpoint of the Protestant marching calendar, was quiet after rush hour.

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See also:

07 Jul 00 | Northern Ireland
Drumcree security stepped up
07 Jul 00 | Northern Ireland
Orange leader 'won't condemn violence'
06 Jul 00 | Northern Ireland
Orange protests 'wrecking' tourism
06 Jul 00 | Northern Ireland
Picture gallery: Drumcree dispute
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