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The BBC's Kevin Connolly
"Last night the atmosphere changed"
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Northern Ireland Secretary Peter Mandelson
"It is completely unacceptable behaviour"
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Monday, 10 July, 2000, 10:29 GMT 11:29 UK
Troops move in at Drumcree
Marchers behind barbed wire
The march itself passed off peacefully, amid tight security
The security forces in Northern Ireland moved overnight to disperse demonstrators from fields around Drumcree Church, near Portadown.

Sunday's Orange Order church parade passed off peacefully, but soldiers and RUC officers in riot gear moved to secure fields around the church after a tense and angry stand-off.

Protests since 1 July (RUC figures)
201 Attacks against RUC/Army
12 shooting attacks
41 Police/soldiers injured
84 Arrests
194 Petrol bombings
89 buildings damaged
59 vehicles hijacked

At one point on Sunday evening a protestor could be seen driving golf balls at police and army lines.

But when loyalist protestors spilled across the fields around the church, waves of helicopter airlifts brought in soldiers and RUC officers.

In carefully orchestrated manoeuvres, the security forces herded protestors into small groups and allowed them to disperse.

Northern Ireland Secretary Peter Mandelson condemned the violent outbreaks, and warned the Orange Order that it was jeopardising its reputation by failing to condemn such incidents.

"I would just say this to the Orange Order, they really must condemn this violence, they must dissociate themselves from it completely because it is their reputation that is now at stake and will be again this afternoon."

Peter Mandelson
Peter Mandelson: Condemned violence

He said Portadown Orangemen would only walk along the Garvaghy Road if they engaged with the Parades Commission and accepted its proposals.

"They are the only circumstances in which it would be possible, in principle, and in law for that march to take place," he said.

"If you think that I, the Parades Commission or anyone else, is simply going to step back and step aside in the face of the violence and bullying, the activities of this thuggish element simply to allow the Portadown District to have their way, then you are very, very mistaken."

However, the deputy district master of the Orange Order in Portadown, David Burrowes, said the secretary of state knew the efforts the Order had made to try to solve the dispute.

He said Orangemen deserved to be treated with respect.

Mr Burrowes claimed the spokesman for Garvaghy Road residents, Breandan MacCionnaith, kept moving the goalposts during efforts to resolve the situation.

Four-hour protest

Meanwhile, the province is bracing itself for a further day of loyalist demonstrations.

The Portadown District Lodge has called for a four-hour peaceful protest from 1600 BST against the Parades Commission bar on the march going along the mainly nationalist Garvaghy Road in Portadown.

It has been left up to individual lodges to decide what form of protest to take, but the Portadown District Lodge has said that they could involve road blocks.

Harold Gracey speaking at Drumcree
Harold Gracey: "I did not call for violence"

It has also urged unionist MPs and assembly members to disrupt parliamentary business in an effort to force the abolition of the body set up to rule on contentious marches.

The planned protests come after a week of sporadic loyalist violence across Northern Ireland - and a car bomb attack in County Tyrone blamed on dissident republicans.

Early on Monday a small band of loyalist protestors was still facing off the British troops who moved in to clear them away from Drumcree.

Meanwhile, Orangemen were continuing their protest outside Hillsborough Castle, the home of the Northern Ireland secretary Peter Mandelson.

On Sunday, Johnny Adair, who has a conviction for directing loyalist terrorism, was spotted at Drumcree for the fourth time in a week.

Drumcree parades
1807: First parade
1995: Compromise
1996: Blocked, then allowed
1997: Forced through
1998: Blocked
1999: Disperses

The former Ulster Freedom Fighters commander joined several hundred protesters on Drumcree Hill after his earlier appearances led to strong criticism from Protestant church leaders.

Elsewhere, a number of roads were blocked in sporadic incidents throughout Northern Ireland and there were reports of disturbances in loyalist areas of Belfast.

Overnight, there were security alerts in Carrickfergus and Larne in County Antrim, and police were attacked with blast and petrol bombs in Lurgan, County Armagh; Newtownabbey, County Antrim and in north Belfast.

A church was the target of a petrol and paint bomb attack in Carnmoney, County Antrim.

On Sunday Portadown lodge district master Harold Gracey said he believed in continuing the protests.

He said he had been misrepresented in a BBC interview on Friday during which he refused to condemn violence.

"I did not call for violence, I called for protests," he told the cheering Orangemen.

"But what ensues out of that ... look at the Poll Tax - it was abolished because of the protests.

"I would say to you people, continue."

Earlier Mr Gracey and his fellow officers had failed to hand in a letter of protest at the security barrier near the bridge at Drumcree.

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See also:

10 Jul 00 | Northern Ireland
Eighth night of NI street violence
08 Jul 00 | Northern Ireland
Drumcree: The route of the march
09 Jul 00 | Northern Ireland
Dissidents linked to NI blast
09 Jul 00 | Northern Ireland
Drumcree's hill of 'uneasy calm'
09 Jul 00 | Northern Ireland
Picture gallery: Drumcree march
09 Jul 00 | Northern Ireland
Garvaghy residents fear eventual march
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