19 January 2006

Parade barred from Garvaghy Road


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The Parades Commission has barred an Orange Order march in Portadown at the end of this month from walking along the mainly nationalist Garvaghy Road.

Commission members met again on Thursday morning to finalise their view on the parade on Sunday 29 January.

The commission said potential damage to community relations and disorder in other parts of NI as a result of a parade down the Garvaghy Road remained.

However, it added it believed that all sides desired an accommodation.

On Wednesday, a delegation from the Portadown lodge held talks with the commission.

The talks, which involved the order's David Jones, discussed the application to parade on the Garvaghy Road.

The Grand Master of the Orange Order, Robert Saulters, said the talks were in contravention of Grand Lodge policy.

The commission said it recognised the "genuine efforts on the part of the Portadown district officers" by formally meeting the commission.

Orangemen last walked down the Garvaghy Road from a church service at Drumcree Parish Church in July 1997.

However, the Parades Commission has since banned them from parading down the road following objections by nationalist residents.

The commission was set up in 1997 to make decisions on whether or not restrictions should be imposed on controversial parades during Northern Ireland's marching season.

New appointments, including Portadown Orangemen David Burrows and Donald McKay, were made to the commission in November 2005.

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