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Saturday, 8 July, 2000, 21:18 GMT 22:18 UK
Drumcree: The route of the march
A map showing the route of the Drumcree march
The Orange Order Parade as Drumcree is one of the oldest and most important in the organisation's history.

The parade starts at about 10am on the Sunday before "The Twelfth" as the members of Portadown Orange Lodge gather at their Carlton Street hall in the centre of the town.

Once assembled, the members of the lodge begin their parade by marching round the town centre before leaving for the church service at Drumcree.

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

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.

Church arrival

The marchers usually reach Drumcree Church Of Ireland Parish Church just after 11am.

There, they enter for the annual service which normally lasts a little more than an hour.

At 12.30pm, 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, the Parades Commission has ruled that the parade can only return to its Orange Hall by an alternative route - returning the way it came in the morning.

When the parade reached the bridge, it will be stopped by the security forces who have erected a 20ft high 30ft wide steel and concrete barricade.

Behind the barrier will be soldiers and RUC officers. Security forces have also taken measures to prevent protesters crossing the shallow stream.

The fields have been ploughed, waterlogged - effectively creating a moat - and criss-crossed with razor wire.

If the march were allowed to go ahead, the parade would march along a country lane for around half a mile before turning into the heavily built Garvaghy Road residential area.

The parade would take approximately 10 minutes to travel the length of Garvaghy Road and re-enter the town centre.

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