16 April 2006

Facelift for Drumcree mural

Sunday Life

Chris Anderson
16 April 2006

A mural commemorating the Orange Order's Drumcree protest is to be given a major facelift in the run-up to the marching season.

Republicans have daubed the letters 'PIRA' across part of the Portadown painting, which looks out onto the route Orangemen follow on their parade to the church.

The weather has taken its toll on the Dungannon Road mural which was a common sight on TV screens around the world at the height of the Orange Orders' Drumcree protest a few years ago.

And there were rumours that it would be removed by loyalists as part of a clean-up of murals in the area.

Images of sporting heroes have replaced paramilitary scenes on gable walls in the area in recent weeks.

However, loyalist sources in Portadown said the Drumcree mural, along with one of murdered LVF leader, Billy Wright at nearby Union Street would be retained.

"There was never a question of the Drumcree mural being removed," one source said.

"The Drumcree parade protest is part and parcel of Portadown's recent cultural history.

"It is a world-wide image. The new mural will let the wider community know the people of Portadown haven't given up on the Drumcree parade even if the local Orangemen have," claimed the loyalist source.

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